Meet the Maker: Alison Crowther


Meet the Maker: Alison Crowther

 

One of our favourite artists and craftspeople is Alison Crowther. We are lucky enough to have one of her sculptures on display in our Showroom as well as one that Giles and Karin have pride of place at home.

Alison Crowther at work with her gouge and mallet

Alison Crowther at work with her gouge and mallet

Alison Crowther designs and makes furniture and sculpture from her studio at the foot of the West Sussex Downs.

Since studying at the Royal College of Art, London and completing her MA in Furniture Design, Alison has gained over 20 years’ experience exhibiting and working for corporate, public and private clients completing many commissions with her inventive benches for use in gardens, parks and commons.

Sculptures created in unseasoned English Oak

Sculptures created in unseasoned English Oak

Alison uses traditional tools of a gouger and mallet to draw attention to the features that naturally occur in the timber.

The past few years have seen sculptures going further afield into China, with pieces in Beijing and a luxurious resort hotel near Guangzhou.

Closer to home, there have been commissions for collectors such as The Rothschild Foundation and specially designed pieces, the Rip Tide Bench, for the Chelsea Gold Medal winning Laurent-Perrier Garden designed by Arne Maynard.

Where to see Alison Crowther's work locally

The Cass Foundation, Goodwood, West Sussex.– 10 Seats, modular benches outside the archive building

Wisley RHS Gardens – Small Bench, The Family Garden designed by Fiona Lawrenson

Canary Wharf – Kidney I and II at 40 Bank Street lobby, Canary Wharf, London

Winchester Cathedral – 5 Pews for the Silkstede Chapel

The Harrow Pub, Steep, Petersfield – Memorial seat by the fire-side

Figura Showroom, Chiddingfold - Small Sculpture

'Corylus' carving detail

'Corylus' carving detail

For her bench-come-sculptures and other objects, Alison hand-carves great trunks of unseasoned English oak to compliment the natural environments in which they are displayed and used. She embraces the natural characteristics of the oak and, guided by the grain and annual rings, her carving forms winding, organic structures. The surfaces, exposed to the elements, are in a continuous process of change and refinement as weathering and seasoning 'silver-down' and form part of the wood's history.

In the workshop, West Sussex

In the workshop, West Sussex

Alison works ethically, carefully considering the implications that her work and working methods have on the environment.  Choosing exclusively English oak, she sources the timber she uses from woodlands that are managed to the highest standards and which are continually renewed.

‘Respect for the site is paramount in her commissioned work.’

Wherever located, Crowther works to ensure that the pieces are right and fit for their purpose.

Moreover, they are works of art that hold their own in cathedrals, in historic or modern buildings, in city or country and in the natural world where English oaks grow.

If you are interested in talking to Alison about a commission or finding out more about her work you can contact her via her website www.alisoncrowther.com