What was the first piece you made?
I was waiting for some steel to arrive to start knife making, so I decided to practise with mild steel which isn’t very strong. Living by the sea, I thought of an oyster knife. It wasn’t very successful, but there was real joy in sitting on the beach eating oysters, shucking them with a knife I had made.
Is it a challenge to use found objects in your work?
I use plastics washed up from the sea; they have a quality about them that I like. Also, there is enough plastic in the world without me going out and buying more! It can be a challenge, but in some ways I like the finite nature of it, the restriction of working with what you have.
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Plastic is a modern material, but is tradition also important to you?
Traditional methods of making are very exciting to me. Personally, I am drawn to the ‘tricks’ that people have been using for thousands of years. For example, how a blade is attached to a handle without glue. It’s a balance between traditional and modern, bridging the two.
What do you love about what you do?
I use high carbon steel. As it is used, the surface patinates, illustrating the story of the knife. I think of my objects as having a life. Knowing my knife is used every day by someone to prepare food – something so primary – is a wonderful feeling.