Spotlight Interview with Jarrad Belton discussing woodworking, the natural world and connections to those around him.
Thank you for speaking to us about your art journey. Where did it all begin for you?
I discovered my love for woodworking during my lessons in school and slowly developed a fondness for making things with my hands. The real passion for wood working developed when I studied it at college. I thought wood was the nicest material to work with. At the time I didn’t fully realise the connection that was possible between maker and material, but as I further studied the craft and educated myself I found a close bond formed between me, my tools and the timber I work with. For me this connection is the most important part of what I do.
From who or from where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Nature is a huge factor in my design and the majority of my work emulates forms found throughout the natural world. I have a deep admiration and interest in trees. Something my more recent works are akin to. I also find inspiration in certain structures such as sea defences and old castles but I’m most happy when wandering through the woodlands taking in all the beauty.
Do you like to experiment with what you use to create art and how would you describe your artistic style?
I absolutely love to push my own ability in what I create and intentionally take on commissions I believe to be a challenge. After all, a calm seas never made a good sailor. Trying to describe my artistic style is a difficult subject for me as I’m not sure where the furniture maker fits into this category. I just try to make peaceful pieces of furniture that have a story.
Why are your designs so different to other artists within the industry?
The timber itself tells a unique story that cannot be replicated. I just try to create some sort of form for the wood to display its natural beauty.
How do you stay relevant and current in a world full of creatives?
As long as you’re doing what you love I think there is no need to fear relevancy. Having happy clients is more important to me.
How has social media impacted on you as judging by your online presence you seem to embrace this?
I like to stay somewhat connected to those around me, especially other furniture makers and sculptors. I do also feel it can be a good way to promote work despite the algorithms that favour certain random and somewhat illusive factors. Overall I think it’s important to avoid getting bogged down with social media as it can be a double edged sword in terms of productivity.
How has your brand grown to where it is now? What has contributed to your success?
I would say I’m probably a little way off from success, but so far it’s been the hours that I’ve put in that have gotten me to where I am. As well as of course my passion for the craft. I love making things and as long as there are people that want things made I’ll just keep making.
Have you worked with any galleries or brands or completed any important commissions you can share with us?
This is my first time working with a gallery and I must say I’m very excited to be part of the wonderful community. To name my proudest commission it would have to be a dining table I made for Sir Ronald Harwood. A piece of furniture that had almost as much character as the client himself. A true honour to create for such a name.
Which projects are you really excited about for 2021 and are there any future plans you can share with us?
I’m currently building myself a new workshop from scratch. It has been a long and arduous journey but I am absolutely ecstatic to have it finished soon and get back to making furniture and sculptures.
See a selection of work from Jarrad Belton HERE