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Nic Webb

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I graduated with a degree in painting from Brighton University in 1994 and have since worked for myself, focusing on wood and elemental making. I started with a Princes Trust Youth Loan and have had studio spaces in Cyprus, Colchester and London. As a family, we moved to Eastbourne four years ago; the rural studio location gives me the creative freedom I had craved.

My studio space is a former sheep barn, built in the 1900s and surrounded by open fields and meadows. I generally work outside, even in the winter, as there is so much dust and woodchip flying everywhere.

Nic Webb Portrait

Working with local wood, every piece is different and has its own unique lineage, character, flaws and features, like a living fossil. I look at the raw lumber and question what is inside: what shapes, form and orientation.

It’s very much a spontaneous, real-time co-design between mind and ability.

Each design invariably begins with a chain saw, then various high octane, electric angle grinders. The stock removal of particular areas of wood is worked on with extremely controllable fine tools—like chisels and cabinet scrapers. Until you take out the layers, you cannot foresee the nuances and landscape.

The initial rough shape is my canvas, ready for a more elemental, potentially chaotic treatment—sandblasting, burning, burying underwater, freezing or exposed outdoor hanging. Every piece is then either oiled or highly polished.

It’s just you, the material, your environment, background thoughts and techniques, all in the moment. It becomes your life. With the manifestation of a physical object, I want to evoke a visceral, physical connection.

Nic Webb Wood Creation

The marks I make in the wood are so subtle. They look as if they could have occurred naturally; this sense of humanity within the natural world is the narrative I am looking for. Only a few pieces get close to that for me.

Stepping out of the predictability of process and working in unchartered creative waters, with air, fire and water, you have to be prepared to lose a piece. In the adventure of making, you don’t know where you are heading. You can read the signs, imagine and challenge yourself, but when you discover something new, that is amazing. The process becomes educational, spiritual and experiential.

I graduated with a degree in painting from Brighton University in 1994 and have since worked for myself, focusing on wood and elemental making. I started with a Princes Trust Youth Loan and have had studio spaces in Cyprus, Colchester and London. As a family, we moved to Eastbourne four years ago; the rural studio location gives me the creative freedom I had craved.

My studio space is a former sheep barn, built in the 1900s and surrounded by open fields and meadows. I generally work outside, even in the winter, as there is so much dust and woodchip flying everywhere.

Nic Webb Portrait

Working with local wood, every piece is different and has its own unique lineage, character, flaws and features, like a living fossil. I look at the raw lumber and question what is inside: what shapes, form and orientation.

It’s very much a spontaneous, real-time co-design between mind and ability.

Each design invariably begins with a chain saw, then various high octane, electric angle grinders. The stock removal of particular areas of wood is worked on with extremely controllable fine tools—like chisels and cabinet scrapers. Until you take out the layers, you cannot foresee the nuances and landscape.

The initial rough shape is my canvas, ready for a more elemental, potentially chaotic treatment—sandblasting, burning, burying underwater, freezing or exposed outdoor hanging. Every piece is then either oiled or highly polished.

It’s just you, the material, your environment, background thoughts and techniques, all in the moment. It becomes your life. With the manifestation of a physical object, I want to evoke a visceral, physical connection.

Nic Webb Wood Creation

The marks I make in the wood are so subtle. They look as if they could have occurred naturally; this sense of humanity within the natural world is the narrative I am looking for. Only a few pieces get close to that for me.

Stepping out of the predictability of process and working in unchartered creative waters, with air, fire and water, you have to be prepared to lose a piece. In the adventure of making, you don’t know where you are heading. You can read the signs, imagine and challenge yourself, but when you discover something new, that is amazing. The process becomes educational, spiritual and experiential.