My partner Bernard was a carpenter before he went to art school in London, which is where I first met him. He had ordered 6 samples of veneers from different countries for a job in 1980, which came through the post in a brown envelope from the suppliers. I was struck by their beauty the first time he showed them to me. In 2008 he gave them to me with the idea that I could work on them, but they were so special to both of us it took me until 2015 to feel confident enough to use them. I produced the set pictured above for his birthday present that year, presenting them in a small box together with their envelope which by then had acquired a vintage allure.
Recently I have been looking at wood veneers to work on again. I am particularly interested in working over a system (the grain of the wood) with my own system which literally goes against the grain while at the same time being sympathetic to the patterns in the wood and working with them. I have always liked to work with intricately detailed marks contained within a simple shape, a method which suited these veneers perfectly. Two years ago the directors of the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh saw them and suggested exhibiting them free standing on a shelf, an idea which I find exciting and want to take forward. These particular ones are not for sale as they belong to Bernard, but I want to make some more specifically designed to be shown on a shelf.
In the examples above, I worked with something suggestive of the country of origin of each wood. Reading left to right from the top:
Africa. Heat, stillness, earth colours and textiles.
France. Parisian elegance and music,
America. A sense of distance between east and west seaboards.
Canada. The bright pale northern territories.
Brazil. Coffee beans
England. The architecture of bridges and the age of engineering.
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
Welcome to my blog, where I share what I have been doing during the week.
I have copied blog entries created under my nom-de-plume Binky McKee to their own blog. It can be found on my illustration website, Binky McKee.
Heather Eliza Walker
Artist in Edinburgh, Scotland
My Illustration Work:
Binky McKee Website