Eleanor Lakelin


At the heart of my work making bowls, vessels and sculptural forms in Wood is a passion for natural form and texture. My work is ethical and sustainable using only wood from trees felled in South London or elsewhere in the British Isles. 

Having trained and worked as a cabinet-maker for many years before learning to carve and sculpt wood, I am still fascinated by my material and its different properties and possibilities. Since my childhood in Mid-Wales and some years spent living in a village in West Africa, I have been inspired by the depth and warmth of wood and by the way natural elements like sun, rain, frost and fire subtly layer, colour and texture wood. I am drawn to the beauty in decay and to the effects of the passage of time, fungus and insects on my material.

I use highly traditional turning and carving techniques with lathes and chisels alongside modern methods but the forms are contemporary in shape and feel.  Work may be sandblasted and bleached to conjure up a world of fossilised landscapes and structures or scorched to contrast with the interior of a gnarled fruitwood.

Each piece has a story to tell about how and why it was made and this sense of narrative is underlined by the notes which accompany each vessel. These not only date the work but also explain the age, type and provenance of the material, its inspiration and the processes it has undergone.

Education
2011-12
 Series of master-classes with sculptors/carvers/wood-turners
2008  Bowl turning course at West Dean College
1996-98  London Guildhall University: City & Guilds Advanced Furniture (Distinction)
1995-96  City & Islington, City & Guilds Furniture, Part 1 (Distinction)
1985-86  University Of London, Institute Of Education, PGCE
1979-83  University of East Anglia BA (Hons) Linguistics

Awards
2012
  Jill Humphrey Springboard Prize for Emerging Makers at    Cockpit Arts
2011  Cockpit Arts/Worshipful Company of Turners’ Bursary Award
1998  London Guildhall University Annual Prize for Craftsmanship in Wood

Selected Exhibitions
2012
  Somerset House Christmas Arcade, London
Cockpit Arts Open Studios (Holborn/Deptford)
Handmade in Britain 12, Chelsea Old Town Hall
Cockpit Arts Open Studios Holborn/Deptford
Contemporary Turning Exhibition, One Church St. Gallery
2011  Cockpit Arts Open Studios
2002  East London Design Show
2001  New Ashgate Gallery (with Michelle Wild)
2000  Chelsea Crafts Fair/ 100% Design (with MW)
1998  Furniture/Cabinetmaker Exhibition, Royal Bath & West Show
“Fresh” Summer Show, London Guildhall University

Publications
2011-12
 House & Garden Blog, Pinterest, Video Short “Inside the Craft”, December-June
2000  Ideal Home/Living South, June
New House, New Home, 1, January
2000-01  Living Etc (Bright New Designers) Dec/Jan
1999  Furniture & Cabinet Maker, 30, July

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