With no formal training and a background in BMX Flatland riding to world champion level, I began my love of working with bamboo when making simple kites on a wet holiday in Cornwall over thirty years ago. My skills developed as I studied and made kite designs from the Far East region, and I knew I was beginning to master my craft when Cambodian and Malaysian makers at a kite festival in France asked who had taught me.
Feedback led to the development of sail boat sculptures with silk, hessian and paper coverings and I began selling my work in galleries across Cornwall until childcare responsibilities led me to pause my craft for a few years.
With the opportunity to renew connection to my material I found handling bamboo again was like meeting an old friend. I ‘read’ every stem and respond with a split or carve to work with the properties of the outer skin, fibres and nodes – creating spars that flex and twist in the way I want them to.
The process opens up new possibilities; with a nod to Hepworth’s linear construction string is now incorporated to suggest sail, and experiments with different species, threads, paper and pigments take my bamboo journey in new directions.