The kilted Artisan
working entirely by hand and foot, interpreting centuries of tradition with fresh expression for a contemporary age!
Unique bowls, spoons, spurtles,
and other pieces.
WITH HANDS, HEAD, FEET and HEART
I love working with hand tools and organic materials. It’s quiet, ecologically sound and involves my whole self – hands, feet, head and heart! It’s a very satisfying process, working observantly with the individual nature of each species of tree and segment of wood. As a result, every piece of my work is unique and bespoke. The hand finished surfaces reflect the light, subtly showing the tool marks and are designed to age gracefully with use, developing a delightful patina over time.
The tools and technology I use echo those used by countless generations of artisans and makers. For example, my bowls are turned on a 100% non-electric, foot operated spring pole lathe, using blacksmith made hand forged bowl hooks. Other tools I use include a shaving horse, splitting froe, mallets, trimming hatchets, razor sharp curved & straight spoon knives, gouges and spokeshaves. As a result, all of my pieces differ significantly from power lathe and machine made objects, as do the processes to make them.
I create all of my work from sustainably sourced, fresh felled or wind-blown green wood. With most of the moisture still in it, once it is finished the piece of work is initially put into wood shavings to control the speed of drying. This process gives the bowls in particular their distinct, unique oval shape and undulating rim since different parts of the tree dry & shrink at different rates.
Paint effects are achieved by applying several layers of different coloured milk paints, which I blend and mix from organic powders comprised of milk protein, limestone, chalk, clay and natural pigments. All surfaces are then finished with non-toxic food safe oils, which when exposed to the air, oxidise and harden to become part of the wood.
James Stewart - The Kilted Artisan