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Interview with artist

Kate Dore, Director of Yorkshire Artspace in conversation with Finbar Lucas, Furniture maker and wood sculptor based at Manor Oaks Studios. 

Can you describe your creative practice to someone who may not be familiar with it? I make a broad range of wooden furniture. I trained in fine art and key to the form of the pieces I make is an interest in the work as a 3D object in its own right. At the heart of my work is a commitment to working in a sustainable way and this involves the sourcing of materials, design and construction.

How long have you had a studio at Yorkshire Artspace and what brought you here? I have been at Manor Oaks since August last year when the new studios opened. The offer at Manor Oaks was so much better than my previous workspace. I also feel much more connected here as part of a large group of artists.

How do you make your living as an artist/maker? I make a lot of furniture! I want to be ‘a useful member of the community’ and I take on a wide range of different commissions for very varied pieces. I have good customer contacts and a reputation for being willing to meet their needs.

How does having a studio here support your practice? For the first time in 7 years I am part of a large community of makers in a supportive environment. Not having to be responsible for the running or upkeep of the premises means I can concentrate on my creative work. The beautiful workspace and setting contribute to my professional reputation and image – I can see people’s eyes light up as they enter the space and take in the remarkable structure of the building.

Please give a particular example of how this has resulted in a commission/ exhibition/ networking opportunity? The recent open day held here for Galvanize was really popular and I had lots of conversations with potential clients. I had made an A4 flyer for the event with details about my work and I hope this will lead to some commissions.

What has been your highlight over the last year? Moving to such a great space, and also the Open Studios in November where I sold a coffee table.

What are you working on at the moment? An oak, ash and walnut cabinet and a 5m curved oak desk with a removable central section.