“Embrace it and make the most of it! It’s easy to take for granted all the amazing facilities available, but before you know it, you’re graduating and suddenly they’re not available to you anymore.”
Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences
Using natural materials – predominantly coppiced wood – and traditional craft methods, I have made a series of structures that encourage a connection between people and woodland. At the core of my work is the possibility that this symbiotic relationship between humans and woodlands can be nurtured, addressing the disturbing issue of human disconnection from nature.
Instead of quickly producing a quantity of products, I use traditional green-woodworking processes; enjoying the slowness of hand-tools; and embracing this more contemplative way of working.
How have you found your course and what made you choose it?
Absolutely incredible, I truly couldn’t fault it. I chose it because at that point in my life I found it difficult to specialize in one material area – and this course facilitates and encourages the exploration of many different materials and processes. This course is centered around making, and it was this element of ‘craft’, as opposed to product design, that caught my interest.
Was the location of your course in Brighton more important than you thought it would be?
Living in the small but vibrant town of Brighton has hugely impacted on my studies. Coming from the countryside, I could have easily struggled with living in a city – but with easy access to surrounding nature, and of course the sea, I have felt a freedom that I didn’t expect. I have often cycled down for a quick sea swim in my lunch break or at the start of my day, as the sea is only 5 minutes from my campus.
And crucially, my project would not have been possible if not for the opportunity to help with the coppicing of local ancient woodland in Stanmer Park.
What are your plans after graduation?
In the autumn I will be moving to Norway to learn the craft of traditional boatbuilding at an organic folk school called Fosen. I want to deepen my understanding of wood, both within my body, and my mind, and become more confident and self-sufficient in building big wooden structures.
If you could give you 16 year old self any advice about going to University what would it be?
Embrace it and make the most of it! It’s easy to take for granted all the amazing facilities available, but before you know it, you’re graduating and suddenly they’re not available to you anymore.