Existence and Absence
THE OBJECTS OF NIC WEBB
The work of Nic Webb in both wood and ceramic occupies the interstice between being and not, whereby the object that remains is a form captured moments before it disappears completely from our world. Profile by Corinne Julius.
Nic Webb takes things to the edge. His extraordinary Lost Vessels push wood to the thinnest, frailest, delicacy, by a process of his own invention which involves air, fire and water – a primal process that demands complete concentration.A moment’s lapse can turn a vessel into ash. ‘I have,’ he says, ‘to be very present. As I make the object changes. I have a vision in my head, but I work with wood instinctively and without any preconceived design.What happens will differ because of the spontaneity of the process of making. It is all about movement.It is an active journey, in which I free myself from my own convention and perception of the made object.’Webb has never been conventional. Born in Sudbury, Suffolk in 1972, he grew up outside ‘in the woods, jumping in lakes, making things and sculpting in sand.’ On his mother’s side he can trace his family back directly to Henry V11 and Rob Roy and derives satisfaction that the name Webb, comes from the German for weaver. His father a solicitor was very creative and Webb’s great-great-grandfather Job Andrews was a journeyman carpenter in Devon. Webb still uses and cherishes the tools that Job made for himself. ‘I remember as a child, putting up shelves in a hedge to make a workshop furnished with my father’s tools that then went rusty. ’Today he is a stickler for looking after them,sharpening his tools with a Zen-like calmness and discipline.
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