Alastair Dargue - Green wood carver
I have been working with wood for most of my life, initially as a furniture designer/maker with the usual machinery in the workshop. The noise and dust made it feel like I was working in a factory. The design became more important than the making, and the making was a constant struggle to achieve machined perfection. The hand of the maker was absent.
I decided to return to hand-working with greenwood (freshly cut), something I had enjoyed at college forty years earlier, but the temptation to use the machines was too great. The solution was to re-home all the machinery: less noise and dust and more space to be creative.
Only since industrialisation have we had the desire to conform, with straight lines, perfect geometric shapes, smooth surfaces, and each item identical to the last. Natural materials are unique, to be cherished, not forced by the machine to the whim of a designer. By responding to a material, a maker can bring out its uniqueness and the hand of the maker is then evident at every stage.
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