Gareth Neal is a hands-on Designer and Maker fascinated by historical techniques and aesthetic roots. With a strong narrative throughout his works, Gareth has the mastery of translating contextual references into interesting objects of contemporary design. His Cut & Groove series is an incredible collection of vessels, originally inspired by Roman, medieval, and glass vessels, whose outcome plays into the relationship between function and form.
Gareth Neal: I have always been interested in vessels, and the idea of expressing myself through this form. My dad had a large collection of medieval and roman pots which formed the original inspiration to explore these forms. For this project, I searched traditional and classic shapes from different periods of both furniture and ceramics as I believe some of these forms are etched into our DNA …and I wanted to see which would work well within simple geometric shapes.
The future for crafts is one to celebrate. I believe there is a renaissance going on now.Gareth Neal
Gareth Neal: The idea behind Cut & Groove was initially developed in 2008, as part of a design for a piece of furniture: Anne and George http://garethneal.co.uk/ash-george/http://garethneal.co.uk/anne-table/. The cuts of Anne‘s table reveal a queen-ann-style table with cabriole legs and it was clear that these pieces of timber were very vulnerable. With this in mind, I started to carve away these fragile elements to reveal the internal forms of George‘s chest. This worked really well as there was a clearer discussion between the old and the new.
Revealing Classical Forms
Gareth Neal: These pieces were all handmade, with most of the work being done with a dimension saw a lathe, and a chisel. The hardest thing to overcome on these pieces was hollowing the vessels, this was done on a lathe by hand prior to cuts being made into the exterior to reveal the classical form.
The Future of Crafts
Gareth Neal: The future for crafts is one to celebrate. I believe there is a renaissance going on now. As the population increases and things around us become far from what we understand, crafted objects will have a unique place in the world and in people’s homes. We then continue to realize and understand the craft’s importance to our surroundings and well-being.
The Vessels were featured in the exhibition Against The Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.
Interview with Gareth Nael.
Images: Gareth Neal | Content Credits: Through Objects and Gareth Neal.