British woodworker Adrian Swinstead traces his move to wood crafting to a period in the 1980s, when he was also a musician. He started to work with wood, "developing a passion for the creative possibilities of the material," his website biography relates.
He developed a practice of custom wood interiors for clients in London, with his woodshop located in Wendover Woods in Buckinghamshire. "Living in a beech forest he became fascinated with finding and exploring the fine tracery and random shading found in spalted beech."
Much of his work contrasts the patterns spalted beech with yew and white maple. In 1996 his workshop to Maulden Woods and has focused on Bog Oak and rare Bog Yew. Some of the trees he retrieves are 5,000 years old.
He studied Fine Art at the Slade, classical Indian Music in Calcutta and Benares. For the last 30 years Swinstead has been making fine furniture and art, inspired by the forms and colors of trees and timber.
"There's little difference between making furniture, music or art, each needs a vision and the discipline to accomplish it. Cherishing a piece of ancient bog oak to become a thing of beauty after its five thousand years underground is my work, my art and a privilege," he says.
Swinstead says his driving force is to explore the use of wood, creating pieces that are highly distinctive while respecting the natural beauty of its form. He mixes ancient timber with modern materials such as glass; he uses engineering techniques to create deceptively simple pieces and clean lines, so that his work is a homage to the tree.
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