about me

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After spending most of my life moving around and living outdoors I am now living on a narrowboat on the Kennet and Avon canal in Wiltshire.

My artistic journey started with Celtic art, using media such as paint and stone. I then worked for twelve years as an art restorer, undertaking work in palaces, castles and cathedrals. Amongst others I worked in Windsor Castle after the fire, and at the Queen's Private Chapel of the Savoy. I have restored various oil paintings from the London Guild Hall, and worked on England's largest historical painting: The Battle of Trafalgar.

For many years now I have taken up the humble craft of working with wood, specifically "Greenwood" (trees that are freshly cut or felled retaining their sap). As a traditional craftsman I find working with wood this way suits my frugal and ecological lifestyle.

At the moment I am also working part-time for a mental health organisation. The organisation finds woodland that needs to be maintained and this is where most of my greenwood material is sourced from. I then mentor folk in the Wiltshire area who wish to re-adjust, taking advantage of the natural setting. There we coppice the woodland, creating an area that produces more biodiversity.

Some of the wood is then made into charcoal and is used on the Blacksmith forges that we have constructed. This is where I make my own specific tools for wood carving and bowl turning. Any extra wood from coppicing I use to carve and turn on a foot powered lathe, creating wooden ware for use in the home or simply as decoration.

I find this sourcing and recycling of material a wonderful, ecological process that provides me with a sustainable way of living.
 

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                          all contents nick riley - 2014