"My family's history is interwoven with my woods, providing a constant source of inspiration and pride as well as raw material. The wood from which I carve my sculpture and sculptural furniture pieces is from trees managed by my great grandfather and grandfather both. I hope that my own conservation and forestry management work will, in time, continue to provide a plentiful supply of quality trees for future generations of craftsmen and artists. I am very aware that this unique bond is at the heart of many aspects of the creative process. The following pages show how that provenance is incorporated into all of my works, with each piece making its own small contribution to this life affirming cycle. I hope you enjoy it too." - Mike Owens, Sculptor
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photographs by Tom Wood
Six separate woodlands totalling 150 acres, one of which covers a medieval village, is the rich tapestry that forms the backcloth to Mike Owens' working life. Family owned for nearly two hundred years, the forestry management and preservation techniques he has developed have earned him the accolade "superb" from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
It is from these woods and only from here, that Mike selects the timber he uses for his sculpture and furniture making. With nothing being bought in to order, he faces an ever changing creative challenge, seeking inspiration from the available timber to produce individual pieces that are all unique.
Managing the life of the woods creates an affinity with the timber he uses. Knowing where it stood, where it was felled, all give a rare intimacy to his work.