Lauren Wood, a maker and furniture designer from the UK, lived up to her surname by winning the TV series Handmade: Britain's Best Woodworker in 2022. After an artist in residence position at university, Lauren pursued a postgraduate program in teaching and spent a decade as a woodwork teacher. With a deep passion for woodwork and creating, particularly free-standing furniture, Lauren has always been a practical person, constantly engaged from Lego to DIY projects from a young age.
Lauren created this wooden vespa during her time on the show. The objective was to create a toy that could be handed down from generation to generation. We think she nailed it!
On set with Lauren during her time shooting Handmade: Britain's Best Woodworker in 2022.
Isn't this wooden lamp crafted by Lauren incredible? Sometimes simple is best!
With a fresh twist on a beloved traditional style, this contemporary rocking chair was skillfully crafted by Lauren during her time on the show.
Lauren carved this smooth-as-butter wooden penguin using our tools!
Lauren ready to create, completely focused.
How did you get into woodworking? I used to watch a lot of home renovation shows and gardening shows with my twin, and then we would go outside and build whatever we could, decorate our rooms, and constantly redesign items in our bedrooms to improve their appearance or functionality. Additionally, I have always had a great fondness for being outdoors, so when I wasn't at school, I would either be playing football or engaging in various building projects. I suppose I had an abundance of energy that needed to be expended somehow.
What inspires your creations? Everything I create is based on the ethos of 'form versus function,' but I tend to gravitate towards crafting objects that possess an organic and natural appearance. I appreciate geometry and asymmetry, and these elements often influence my designs. However, more often than not, my inspiration stems from the unique grain of the timber I am working with, which ultimately guides the design to a certain extent.
What made you decide to add power carving to your repertoire? After experiencing power carving on Britain's Best Woodworker, I developed a profound love for it. The combination of speed and control offered by the tools produces remarkable results in a short amount of time. The Arbortech range is so versatile and you can literally do it anywhere - which I love, as I prefer to work outside and my workshop is quite small. I can also achieve large builds without needing large machinery. These tools do the job perfectly.
What is your favourite power carving tool and why? Initially, I expected to favour the Mini TURBO, but the control and finish of the TURBOPlane won me over. The Power Chisel's ease of carving and sharpness take it to another level. I haven't tried the Ball Gouge for detailing yet, but I have high hopes it will become one of my favourites as well.
What impact has power carving had on your art/passion/livelihood? Power carving has enabled me to sculpt - without these tools I would merely make furniture and not be able to express different levels of creativity within these. I cannot wait to use these tools to create textured drawer fronts and patterned surfaces. They are just so versatile! I want to break the stereotype that women don't have the space, time, strength, or know-how for this stuff. I'm on a mission to get more women into this awesome creative world of building and sculpting. These tools have allowed me to demonstrate this to others, aligning perfectly with my goal. What advice would you give to people who are thinking of getting into power carving? The best way to learn is by doing, and the most gratifying element of power carving is the end product. No matter how many mistakes you make, we are always learning and evolving, and these tools could unlock the most amazing talent that you might not realise you have. What's even better is that it's a peaceful and mindful hobby that allows you to relax and not think about everyday tasks and stresses.
In short, my answer to the question is - DO IT.
To learn more about Lauren, follow the links below.
*Carve It Up competition is open to UK residents only. Full terms and conditions can be found here.
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