Mark Hanvey was in Newtownards, County Down, North Ireland. He desires to make work that is strong and simple in form. The love and deep respect for the material is evident in the way in which he creates and finishes all his work, “I feel that since it takes such a long time for this material to mature that I should so my best to respect it.”
Mark has been working with wood for over 25 years, both at the lathe and the bench. He strives to connect with the purist elements of wood. Mostly he uses native Irish timber but also some exotics. The turned work that is most satisfying for him is that which lets the wood itself have the final say in the form. This is done using green (unseasoned)
wood, which when turned relatively thin distorts as it dries to produce beautiful organic forms.
This is very evident in his ‘Pith vessel’ series where the pith, a soft cellular material at the centre of the tree, is carved around, to celebrate this vital part of the tree. Typically the pith is discarded but it is a beautiful element of the tree.
The work entitled ‘Flux’ is a study of how a material such as wood may be acted upon by elements of time and nature, eventually returning to the soil, to nurture new growth.
Although introduced to woodturning at school, he is largely self-taught and, after leaving school, he served a traditional apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. With these skills at his disposal and a clear respect for the material, Mark has won a number of awards, including the Craftsmanship Award 2009 from The Crafts Council of Ireland.
Mark’s work can be found in both public and private collections in Ireland and abroad, including the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Mark works as a woodturner and furniture maker. With sixteen years experience making contemporary furniture for a local designer, it was a natural progression for mark to use these skills alongside his turning, to produce his own designs.