Inundation - 2018
I have just collected the latest piece from Fine Framing – “Inundation”. This piece was inspired by bog oak. But let me explain.
Last year I commissioned a wonderful box maker called Andrew Poder to make a small box, suitable to take drawing materials, for my brother, who is an artist and lover of beautiful and practical things. Poder is a cabinet maker by training who has turned his skills to making the most incredible wooden boxes. He uses a wide variety of interesting woods, one of which is bog oak.
Bog oak is dug up from the East Anglian fens and is something like 6000 years old. When the trees fell the ground was boggy and this has preserved the wood. It is now coming to the surface either because it is ploughed up or the fens are drying (see more on the Great Fen website ) . Poder tells me that the trees grew straighter and taller than modern oaks and must have been growing close together as there are few low branches. Once dug up the trees are dried slowly over two years and can then be used for carpentry or joinery. The wood is very dense, fine grained and a dark, dark brown.
Poder often puts decorative material on the inside of his box lids. I asked him if he would put some material I had woven into my brother’s box and he agreed to this. So I set about creating this strip (just 10 inches by 2 inches) of material which was to be a response to the bog oak. Poder kindly gave me some off cuts from the bog oak to use as references. It took longer than I anticipated and ”Inundation” is just a small sample of the final piece, which is now in Richard’s box. I have not taken any pictures of the finished box but will ask Richard if he can send me some.
When I started to develop my work I was under the mistaken impression that the oak tree had fallen and been inundated with water by the tsunami that drown Doggerland and created the breach between the UK and the continent. I have since found out that happened about 8000 years ago, but it is part of the story I was looking at for my piece!
“Inundation” is woven in cotton, linen, silk, paper yarn and the dark strands are home spun Shetland wool. The weave structure is the Theo Moreman technique, so the pattern floats on the surface of the background cloth. It has been framed by Fine Framing so that the piece is held in suspension just off the back of the picture, in an inch-deep frame. It has museum quality glass which gives a perfect view, with little or no reflection. The overall picture is 12 inches wide and 10 ¾ inches high.