James Davies, woodturner, is joining this post lock down exhibition. James creates sculptural forms and turned home-wares from local storm fallen timber. He uses mainly traditional woodworking methods and techniques as well as some modern and experimental processes to produce beautiful and functional pieces.
James lives and works from a rural cottage up in the hills near Machynlleth in Powys.
In his early work and during his studies at Dartington college of arts, he explored the human form and our relationship with the environment through mixed media sculptural work and sound design. His work has always taken inspiration from his surroundings, and is informed by a deep desire to learn from, and help conserve the natural world. It is this desire to be closer to nature that led him to move away from more computer based sound design work into working with local wood and natural materials.
In 2011, he returned to settle in his native Wales and became interested in working more deeply within the local landscape. Through working and volunteering with social forestry charity, Tir Coed, he learnt about woodland management and the potential raw material which exists in a woodland.
He was first introduced to woodturning whilst working with Tir Coed and from that point on he started collecting the tools and knowledge he needed to be able to produce the work he does today. Through guidance and the sharing of a wealth of knowledge from a local woodsman Bob Shaw and his own research and development, he has adopted the techniques and ethos of traditional green wood craft, as well as more modern woodworking techniques, to refine his practice and create work which can be both functional and beautiful.
Provenance and sustainability are very important to James, he always uses local, storm fallen trees or wood sourced from responsibly managed forests and farms. He tries to gather as much information about the tree or site from which the wood came, in order that this knowledge can inform his work, providing context and narrative, connecting the work pieces and the recipients with the origin of the material.
His current work is influenced by responses to degeneration and disease. It explores the challenges of working with knots, scars, burrs and signs of damage. Embracing weaknesses and imperfections, unearthing and employing the aesthetics of fungal decay, parasites and environmental stresses inherent in the wood.