Did you learn from a master?
I am self taught as a woodturner, but I learned a lot about form and composition from Lothar Goebel, a stone/glass artist who was my mentor through my teenage and college years. In the mid 1990s, I discovered the work of Liam Flynn and was struck by the simplicity and beauty of what could be created on a wood lathe.
Is your work linked to where you live?
Having grown up along the west coast of Ireland, I spent many childhood summers playing in rockpools, on beaches and in old, abandoned fishing boats. Subconsciously I must have absorbed a taste for the colours, textures and materials I found along the shore, because my work references the coast in a subtle, almost imperceptible way.
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How have you brought your own signature to woodturning?
Once I became serious about woodturning, it did not take me long to develop an individual voice. I quickly developed a style of multi-axis woodturning, consisting of intersecting geometric forms. This requires a lot of planning and frequently reorientating the piece of wood on the lathe.
What do you love about what you do?
That I have this opportunity to express myself creatively, using materials that I love, in my workshop in the remote west of Ireland. It gives me peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment. I also love the opportunities for travel and meeting inspirational people that this line of work has given me.