Interview with Tasha Craig

M A T R A, 2022

As part of the making and documenting of MATRA, I asked my collaborator, Tasha (of Natasha Craig Woodwork) a few questions about her experience of creating to my brief;

How did you feel about working large-scale?

I absolutely loved it! I would happily go bigger too.

Please share about the process of selecting the wood; as a woodworker, what were you looking for in the wood that spoke to you?

Finding well seasoned wood at that scale was tricky so I went for a piece that was partly seasoned to allow me to have the size needed. Size party dictated my options but I knew I wanted one that would look good when burnt. I was looking for ash or oak. I went to a local wood yard to select the piece. I chose from a few and found one that I felt would work well on the lathe but also I always look at how close together the grain is and what I think would look good post burning.

Which parts of your practice had to adapt to working on this commission/collaboration?

I’d say my practice is always adapting so it feels like a natural and comfortable place to have worked together. Because your brief was clear and you gave me the trust to go ahead it made my job alot easier!

Did you use any new tools/skills?

I learnt how to use an axe! This was new for me and I had to removed sections of the wood before I placed it on the lathe. Really loved it.

What aspects did you enjoy? & Any challenges?

I enjoy the whole process from the minute I got the brief in my hands. It takes me back to when I was a modelmaker for tv – it was always about the brief. I loved interpreting your drawings into a reality. Finding the wood was initially challenging and also turning such a large piece on the lathe was a new challenge for me.

How was it to work to an arts brief that amplified your aesthetic and way of woodworking?

It felt like such a blessing to work to an artistic brief. I feel my work is a blend of artistic and practical but I identify more as an artist myself. I loved that the brief allowed my aesthetic to come through and that our work complimented each other perfectly as a finished piece.

Any other feelings/thoughts?

Such a joy to work with you from start to finish. I would do it all again for sure and I feel like there is potentially lots more to explore there with the wood and the textiles.

Thank you so much Tasha! Let’s get to work on the next project soon!!!

C. Imogen Bright Moon + Natasha Craig, 2022

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