Chip off the ol’ Block


Prone to error


These are some of my most recent notes taken as I work, thoughts inspired by my making, a select few that resonate with me more than others.

Detail, Earthly Ship, Necklace. 2019

Detail, Unearthed, Brooch, 2019

At the earlier stages of this investigation of process, Roseanne Bartley said my images made her think of chip/chipping away. It has taken me a while to come back to this thought, and maybe having it in my subconscious triggered my recent notes. Of course, I am a ‘Chip off the ol’ block’, being a carpenters daughter, with a fascination for wood and collecting remnants similar to that of my late father, who was most certainly called a ‘Chippy’.

I now find myself pondering why carpenters are called Chippy’s. The term ‘Chippy’ originally referenced the wood chips that flew as carpenters were building, which is hard to imagine now with modern tools, machinery and prefabrication. It’s not as if they actually chip at the wood, but maybe they did when tools were more rudimentary. My point here is not actually about how carpenters build but just the word ‘chip’ in the context of carpentry and how it relates to my process. As I have chipped away at my work and also remnants of wood collected, I wonder about wood being fallible – each chip prone to error – not precisely as I envisaged, yet there is a solace in this as I find the wood very forgiving – the true nature of trees, I wonder. Wood allows me to nudge it to where it works for me while also drawing me into a direction that it has influence over. I can now link this fallible nature of wood and its ability to accommodate a margin of error within my own practice to that of the carpenter and how his/her chips possibly where created as a method of adjustment when constructing in a similar sense to mine.




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