Articulating sealJeff Soan Wooden Creatures
I studied Art and Design at Goldsmith's College in the late 60's, taught for a few years, travelled for a while, married, started a family and a building business during the 70's. A chance encounter with a wobbly rat from Chile changed my life. I was so inspired by this articulating folk toy that I joined a course in toy making at the London College of Furniture, I set up my garden workshop in 1987 and continue to this day to explore and develop the possibilities of the technique of articulation.
My work reflects equally a love of creatures, great and small, and a love of wood.
My earlier training as an artist and later as a toymaker has lead to objects which can be seen as playful sculpture or perhaps sculptural toys but I generally refer to it as Wobbly Wood.
I try to express the essential nature of the animals, birds, and fish I create, sometimes by simplification, sometimes by attention to detail and very often by the sinuous movement achieved with the technique of articulation. A large part of my work in recent years has been investigating the possibilities of this technique which is created by cutting the wood into narrow sections and securing it to canvas.
I utilise the woods natural forms and features; its grain, colour and bark to suggest the creature’s shape, markings, feathers and texture.