Before I head back to University, I thought it would be a good idea to spend a day collecting up lots of bark from different locations in the New Forest to bring back with me to the workshops.
I wanted to gather a fairly substantial collection of bark from each location so that I had plenty to work with once I bought it back to the workshop.
It felt great to be back in the New Forest after having been away for over a month!
The first location I travelled to was Ashurst. This is my local village, and where I grew up. I did not find a very large collection of bark here, as this area of the woods can be cleared by locals fairly often.
However, I found one tree stump that was particularly interesting and had some nice large pieces of bark on it, which were already starting to decorticate. Perfect for me to strip it all and take home!
The second location I went to was Beaulieu. This is quite possibly one of my favourite parts of the new forest and I couldn’t resist visiting!
There was lots more for me to look through at Beaulieu… including some forest bivouacs which are great because the logs are naturally kept dry and the bark is in a better condition for me to use.
I found some really interesting pieces in Beaulieu, including pieces with moss on and some pieces which had been infected with woodworm. I’m hoping that these textures will come through in the casting process well, as these could add a fresh new look to my work.
Once I took everything home, I started to play with some construction ideas for working on a larger scale:
The tallest pieces here are about 3ft and reach roughly my waist. I think I would quite like to push my ideas more in terms of scale and start working bigger, because I feel that my conceptual ideas will be communicated more clearly.
However, when casting, I will have to cast them all separately and then assemble them with welding afterwards, because otherwise it will be too big for the silicone and plaster coating process.
There’s lots of exciting experiments to come! So keep an eye out!