The work of Luke Hope at Hope in the Woods has recently caught our attention. Like Figura, Luke focuses on craftsmanship, using natural materials and time to create something beautiful and functional.
Luke uses a mix of traditional and modern tools and techniques to craft contemporary shapes from wood. He creates spoons and other utility object and enjoys the process as much as the finished item. He splits his time between collaborative projects with curators and makers, and creating pieces for private clients, stores and bespoke orders.
Luke studied design straight out of school, but then ended up doing other things...for 20 years. Recently he started to draw and design again. Having always enjoyed working with wood, he started creating wooden spoons by hand.
"I love the calm of the process… working with an organic material, revealing natural form and creating and blending new lines and shape. I’m grateful to have found my way back to designing and making. My name is Luke Hope and 'Hope in the Woods' is my journey from an office, where I’ve spent most of my working life, out into the woods…"
Luke likes to consider the balance between straight and curved lines, weight between handle and head and depth and thickness of the bowl.
None of his pieces are quick to make, even the simplest designs. For every piece Luke makes, he loves the process of taking a single piece of wood and creating something new.
Long stems are Luke's favourite styles to carve and favourite finished form.
After completing the first stage of scooping the bowls with a gouge he shapes the back of the bowl, leaving the facets. He then moves on to shaping the handle. This is done with long shallow cuts. Cutting towards himself and then moving slowly up the stem. He uses his thumb on his cutting hand to guide the line he is shaping.
Each type of wood will behave a little differently and also each side of the wood can cut differently too. Even with a properly sharp knife you can rip or tear the wood on a shallow cut. So he gently tests which side is good for an up and which side down, before making the cut. Once he has that sussed, then it's a case of slowly rotating the handle and switching from an upward motion, cutting towards himself and downwards, away from himself.
Truly inspired craftsmanship!