Louise Hibbert

‘All of my work begins with extensive visual research, sketching and a technical scaled drawing.  Many of my pieces evolve from shapes with organic bisymmetry and the turning technique allows me to effectively create these forms.  I find that using the lathe gives my work rhythm and balance, almost like a structural backbone within each piece.  I then begin carving, texturing, applying airbrushed inks, resins or metals to create the intricate details. Inspiration for me has always been dominated by a fascination with the natural world, particularly marine life, microscopic creatures, insects, plants and fossils, which together offer a fantastic repertoire of imagery.

I have had a passion for the arts and crafts from a young child when I constantly painted, sketched and made things. As I grew older, although I also had a strong interest in biology, this creativity eventually led to a degree in 3D Design at Brighton University, UK in 1994, and a career as a professional designer / maker.

During my studies I worked in wood, metal, ceramics and plastics and it was at this time that I discovered that wood was a perfect medium for my designs. Although I am perhaps known for my use of colour and resin, wood remains my main material of choice and the lathe the best means of creating my forms.  I chose to work in wood not because I was attracted to straight lines and joinery but rather because I could shape it into forms with flowing lines and crisp details. As a living material, wood has a warmth and tactile quality that resonates with my organic designs.  It is important to me that people are able to have a sense of this when they interact with my pieces. My favourite timber is sycamore, a sustainable wood with a pale even grain and translucent quality that works well as a blank canvas for my designs.

My initial concepts derive from an exploration of form, texture, colour and symmetry.  It is not just the beauty of its surface that attracts me to nature; it is the harmonious order of its parts, the science, the way it continuously finds solutions to problems, which I find both awe-inspiring and fascinating.  Through my work I hope to make accessible the wonder of these natural organisms and allow a tactile appreciation of them to a wider audience.

At present my work comprises a range of practical items, including salt and pepper mills and more whimsical one-off pieces – handheld sculptures, boxes and vessels.  I have been fortunate over the years of my career to have won awards, received funding for continued research, attended conferences and collaborative events worldwide and been featured in many books and publications.

Although I lived for some time in the USA, I currently live and work on the beautiful North Wales coast. Looking out across the Menai Straights to the Isle of Anglesey from a small wooden workshop in my garden, I continue to strive to push forwards my ideas and techniques with every new piece that I create.’ Louise Hibbert

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Selected Exhibitions

2013                       Woods at Work, Centre for Creative Practices, Dublin, Ireland
2013                       Handmade in Britain, London, England
2012-2013            MADELondon,  London, England
2013                       SOFA, Chicago, USA
2013                       Working Wood, Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, England
2013                       Fiveways, Brighton Festival, Brighton, England

Bibliography

· Amercian Woodturner, Texture as an Element in Woodturning Design, Tania Radda, Dec 2013 vol 28, no 6
· Artizen, ‘Jewelry by Louise and Sarah’, Cindy Marks, issue April 2013
· A Gathering of Spoons, Norman D. Stevens, Linden Publishing, 2012
· Latest 7, ‘Match Made’ Nov 2012
· New Masters of the Wooden Box, Oscar Fitzgerald, Fox Chapel, 2009
· New Masters of Woodturning, by Kevin Wallace and Terry Martin, Fox Chapel, 2008
· Connections: International Turning Exchange 1995-2005, Wood Turning Center, 2005
· Craft Arts International, ‘Genus Australis: bridging Science, Art and Ecology’ by Andrew Nicholls,
issue 64, 2005
· Resin Jewellery, Kathy Murphy, A&C Black, 2002
· Crafts, ‘Fruits de Mer’, p.38-41, no. 178, Sept/Oct 2002
· Nature, ‘Science in Culture’, p.920, Vol. 418 29 August 2002
· Craft Arts International, ‘Manifesting the Invisible’ by Kevin Wallace, issue 55, 2002
· Scratching the Surface: Art and Content in Contemporary Wood, Michael Hosaluk, 2002
· Ideales Heim, ‘Aus dem Nixenreich’, p.22, June 2002
· Woodturning Magazine, Front Cover & ‘Fair Exchange’, p.49-52, January 2002
· Turning Points, ‘ITE Experience 2001 – Part Two’, p.18 – 29, fall 2001
· Turning Points, ‘ITE 2001’, p.18-21, summer 2001
· Challenge VI – Roots, M.Holtzapfel, R.Rice, CD.Tyler, Wood Turning Center, 2001
· Crefft (Arts Council of Wales newsletter), Front Cover, Issue 98, March 2001
· BBC Homes & Antiques, ‘Crafts Today’, p.72-73, March 2001
· Crefft (Arts Council of Wales newsletter), Issue 97, ‘Breaking Barriers’, Dec. 2000
· The Fine Art of Wood – The Bohlen Collection, Bonita Fike, Detroit Institute of Arts, 2000
· Woodturning Magazine, ‘Scott and Hibbert’, p.72-76, April 2000,
· Crefft  (Arts Council of Wales newsletter), Issue 93, ‘Profile’, p.4, December 1999
· Bowl Turning Techniques Masterclass, Tony Boase, GMC Publications 1999
· Contemporary Turned Wood – New Designs in a Rich Tradition, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, 1999
· The Visit (National Eisteddfod of Wales), HTV programme, 8th August 1999

Awards/Grants

£4500 grant Arts Council of Wales for Coleoptera – an exploration of beetle inspired boxes 2010
$3000 grant from FORM, Australia to help develop the Genus Australis project, 2004
£2500 grant from the Worshipful Company of Turners for Plankton Project, 2002
Welsh bursary for Plankton Project with Sarah Parker-Eaton, 2002
Arts Council of Wales grant to attend ‘Breaking Barriers’ Conference, Canada, 2000
£2000 Award at the National Eisteddfod of Wales 1999, Arts and Crafts Exhibition

Public/Private Collections

Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, USA, 2001
Detroit Institute of Arts, USA, 2000
The Aldrich Collection, University of Brighton, 1994
Various private collections

Residencies and Collaborative Projects

Part of an international sculpture project ‘Carving the Way to Harmony: International Wood Carvers Create a Collaborative Masterpiece’, China 2014

Part of an international sculpture project ‘Improvisations on the Theme of an Irish Wall’ Carlow, Ireland 2013

Resident Artist as part of the ‘Ingrained’ project at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA in 2009

Resident Artist at the 2008 American Association of Woodturning Annual Conference, Richmond, VA

Designing Futures International Residency Programme 2003, one month residency in Perth, Western Australia organised by the FORM Gallery

International Woodturning Exchange 2001, two month programme in Philadelphia, organised by the Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, USA

Louise Hibbert 2016