Women in Sport: Olympic athlete Sarah Lavin
Women in Sport: Olympic athlete Sarah Lavin

Sarah Gill

Surrogacy in Ireland: “I was born an ‘illegitimate’ child and now I’m branded an ‘illegitimate’ mother”
Surrogacy in Ireland: “I was born an ‘illegitimate’ child and now I’m branded an ‘illegitimate’...

IMAGE

Interior designer Suzanne Garuda has created a fun, party vibe in this new Dublin 8 hotel
Interior designer Suzanne Garuda has created a fun, party vibe in this new Dublin 8...

Megan Burns

Poor Things streaming on Disney+ and a John Galliano doc – what to watch this week
Poor Things streaming on Disney+ and a John Galliano doc – what to watch this...

Sarah Finnan

This beautiful red brick property with its own indoor swimming pool is on the market for €1.95 million
This beautiful red brick property with its own indoor swimming pool is on the market...

Sarah Finnan

This noodle bowl takes less than 10 minutes to make (and the flavours do not disappoint)
This noodle bowl takes less than 10 minutes to make (and the flavours do not...

Meg Walker

A carer’s compassion fatigue: ‘I felt like I was abandoning an already-abandoned subset of the population’
A carer’s compassion fatigue: ‘I felt like I was abandoning an already-abandoned subset of the...

Rebekah Rainey

This beachside Connemara home is on the market for €2.8 million
This beachside Connemara home is on the market for €2.8 million

Megan Burns

Read an extract from award-winning author Mary Costello’s latest short story collection, ‘Barcelona’
Read an extract from award-winning author Mary Costello’s latest short story collection, ‘Barcelona’

Sarah Gill

Spud, love, chicken: Irish chocolatier reveals the nation’s leading nicknames
Spud, love, chicken: Irish chocolatier reveals the nation’s leading nicknames

IMAGE

Image / Editorial

Behind the Craft: Hewn


By IMAGE Interiors & Living
06th Jul 2016

Surrounded and informed by the nature of the west of Ireland, craftsman ?amonn O?Sullivan creates woodenwares based on ancient European craft traditions.?There is beauty in simplicity and functionality and it’s this no-frills attitude that drives ?amonn to place his signature stamp on traditional woodenware. ?The best design advice I’ve heard is ‘remove any material that needn’t be there?,? he says.?From his base just outside Westport, ?amonn (AKA Hewn) carves striking wooden spoons and utensils amid picturesque surroundings.

E'monn O'Sullivan

?amonn?outside his workshop?

Having originally studied environmental science and ecology, ?amonn admits that his emergence as a craftsman is quite a departure, but that his work is inspired by the environment around him. ?The thing about western Mayo is that, since it is pretty marginal farmland and has always been economically marginal, the story of the landscape hasn’t been totally painted over by intensive mechanised farming or big road projects,? he explains.

?amonn O'Sullivan

The first step and final result

Instilling a sense of character is important. ?That’s exactly what I try to achieve with my spoons. They retain the marks from my tools. They include the knots and bends and imperfections of the tree. I can bring you to the spot where the tree grew. They have a story.?

While his handmade elm butter knives hold pride of place in the multiple Michelin star-awarded Aniar in Galway, wooden spoon carving isn’t exactly a new practice – in fact, it has been around longer than ceramic or steel production – and ?amonn regularly travels to museums in search of old examples of spoons.

?amonn O'Sullivan

A narrow teaspoon near completion

He favours a ?clean and simple? aesthetic and cites birch, cherry and hawthorn as his favourite hardwoods to sculpt from. ?It’s also important to look at the shape of the piece of wood and let it dictate some of the design decisions.”?In line with this approach, ?amonn believes restraint to be a key part of his process, utilising traditional green woodworking techniques and just a few simple hand tools in the form of a handsaw, an axe, a straight knife, a crook knife and a pencil. No more, no less. As he puts it, achieving a grand result from a minimalist approach is the ?ultimate satisfaction?.

Craftsman ?amonn O'Sullivan

A selection of ?amonn’s work

But why wood? ?Wood is amazing,? says ?amonn. ?It’s so versatile and strong and full of character. It has its own story too. I can tell you where every bit of timber I have originally grew. It’s still a joy to split open a piece of wood and reveal its life story, ring-by-ring, year-by-year. It’s like unwrapping a present.?

Words Dave Hanratty

Like this series? Pick up our?July/August issue?to’see inside the studio of artist Lola Donoghue.?

Lola Donoghue, Image Interiors & Living July-August issue