At college I made sculpture from timber I hauled out of the river Avon. Then, after years of woodwork teaching and carpentry, two things got me going again. Firstly a gift from Mexico - a painted carved wooden fish. Struck by its crude vitality I knew I wanted to make things like this. Next, I spent a summer school week carving wood with Howard Raybould, whose work I still admire.
Wood as a material, the tools to cut and shape it, the smell of it, having to work slowly and deliberately, then adding colour to the play of light and shadow over the finished piece - all this centres and grounds me. Now I use relief carving in wood as the language and medium to make sense of all the things that we celebrate and worry about today. My imagery is derived from the objects we surround ourselves with and the natural forms of plants and wildlife. Before I can carve something I need to know how it is made so the making always begins with observation with sketchbook and camera .
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