Years of wind, rain , storms and tides combine to create my raw materials. Nature is my partner in this business.
I have always been fascinated by the sea, the endlessness of it. You can catch a current and travel anywhere in the world. For sure you won't travel quickly but that's not what my work is about.
I want a sustainable business supplying a sustainable product, without adversely affecting our environment or our planet and doing some good along the way. So when I'm working a beach I remove all the plastic, line and fishing net I can along with the driftwood, its the least I can do for an ocean that provides my living. I also collect donations for marine charities through my retail outlets and by donating at least £1 from every sale to Whale & Dolphin conservation.
If a piece of wood can fall into a river or the sea, anywhere in the world, then it has a chance of travelling the globe on our great ocean currents. It will be battered and smashed, baked by the sun and worn by rocks and sand. It's story will be written across its scars for all who take the time to look upon them. The same is true of ships that have been swallowed by the depths, only to reappear piece by piece hundreds of years later when their past lives are long forgotten.
My materials reflect the unified nature of the oceans, they can come from anywhere, there is no continent that cannot contribute its timber to the ocean waves, by river or coastal erosion or simply by shipwreck. so its quite possible to be working with Canadian forests and asian mangrove sometimes even in the same project.
All of this wood ages differently. Some exotic wood won't float at all and only gets beached after the worst of storms. Some is light and fine and some as hard as iron but all of it gets worn by its journey and its that natural pattern that I find so unique and beautiful.
For the last seven years I have been working full time collecting driftwood, walking hundreds of miles a year, mostly in Kent but I do travel all over the UK harvesting the best of our islands driftwood. Once I have found a piece I recover it to my workshop. Sometimes this involves a carrier bag, sometimes a hired crane!
Once it's at my workshop it's cleaned in a vat of fresh water and jet washed. I don't use chemicals or preservatives of any kind.
Once clean it's stacked on an open air rack to dry. Sometimes this takes a few months, sometimes a few years! I never force dry my wood, after years of immersion in water the wood needs time to shrink and twist back into shape. Slow drying allows the wood to remain strong.
Even so not all my wood survives the cleaning and drying process and only the best pieces progress to the next stage. I regularly test the wood for its moisture content. Once it's down to 20% moisture it's dry enough to work with. It's now washed again and jet washed extensively to remove any sand or dust. Then it's taken Into my workshop to sit on another rack until it's needed for a project.
I have three metal work suppliers that I work closely with. One in Sheffield who supplies foundry made coat hooks and cast items from a huge steel works and iron foundry. One near faversham in Kent who makes me bespoke metal work in his forge for special projects. And finally a fine artisan smith from whitstable who crafts the more delicate pieces I require, all to order and made to my specification for each separate project.
I make everything from tea light holders to four poster beds and have thousands of pieces of driftwood in stock at any one time, even so I am restricted in what I make by the availability of wood and can never make the same identical item twice.
I don't use varnish or bleach or dye of any kind on my driftwood as I want to capture its natural beauty and try to make the most of its features.
The end result of all this work is something very special, and completely unique. My products are made to last and all my items are one offs made from the best materials available too me.
I accept commissions for all sorts of items that my customers require and am happy to work closely with you on any special orders no matter how large or small. In a world where everyone buys the same things I strive to be different, because I'll never have the same raw materials twice I'll only get one chance to do it well.
Because Life is meant to be wild
Because Life is meant to be wild