Do you have a tree that needs to come down? Or a large chunk of wood sitting unloved somewhere in your garden? If so, I can turn a piece of that wood into an original present. Weddings; anniversaries; special birthdays; random acts of generosity. Perfect for all sorts of occassions.
The word unique is overused,often abused, but each of my pieces truly are one of a kind. I deliberately avoid too much measuring and marking out, it's how the wood looks and feels that dictates what I do rather than following a set of pre-ordained measurements. In this way, I believe, I reveal the best the wood can be. Bespoke not off the peg. If you like a particular style or look, I will replicate the feel but not the exact dimensions. I will make you something that is sensual to touch and pleasing to the eye, and nothing will be exactly like it.
Each commission comes with a brief description of the wood, it's provenance and how to care for it. The bottom of each piece is finished with my signature four concentric rings. If you like I can put a discreet hand written inscription on the base of the bowl as well.
What I should say is that there is an element of unpredictability to all of this. Invisible cracks deep in the wood may cause a bowl to split and break on the lathe. Or some other imperfection may mean that the final bowl has a hole or bark inclusion in it, like this cherry bowl on the right. These, I feel, contribute to the character and unique feel of each piece. I actively seek out wood with odd knots and twisted growth patterns, hoping they will make interesting features in the final bowl, and often they do. But you just have to remember that a bowl with some interestingly shaped holes will be beautiful, but a rather disappointing soup tureen.
The process also takes time. I turn most of my bowls in two stages, roughing out first then finishing with anything up to a year's drying time in between. The ash bowl on the left has been rough turned and will now dry for at least six months. If wood is completely dry then I can make a bowl in one session, but that wood is usuall commercial, kiln dried timber and I tend to work with green or naturally drying wood. Typically it's about six months from start to finish, but that can vary depending on what you want.
I am very happy to try and find a piece of wood for you, depending on what you would like. I have a reasonable number of blanks drying and raw timber ready for their first turn, but I may not have anything suitable for your particular needs. I will get hold of exotic timbers if you wish, but a word of warning, they can be very expensive.
I'm always happy to talk over ideas with no obligation so please do get in touch.
Prices vary depending on the wood and the amount of time it takes to make a piece. A rough guide is £6.50 for a winestopper, £25 for a small bowl and over £100 for a very large or difficult to work with bowl . Most of my bowls, boards and caddies would be between £40 and £70, with an additional £5 if you want an inscription on the base.
"Wood does not need embellishing, merely revealing"
All text and images copyright Toby Murcott 2013.
"Each bowl is unique The feel of the tool on the wood, the aroma of the shavings, the shape that emerges is always different.
My speciality is simple, clean lines and elegant curves. No harsh angles and no unnecessary detail. Wood does not need embellishing, merely revealing."