I studied design straight out of school but ended up doing other things... for 20 years.
Back a few years ago I started to draw and design again. Having always enjoyed working with wood, I started creating wooden spoons by hand.
Drawn in by the calm of the process... the meditative nature of making something by hand; working slowly to create new forms from a single piece of wood, I was grateful to have found my way back to designing and making...
I find it difficult to write about what I do… so for now, I’m simply going to include some words I love, that were written by Lilias Wigan.
Beginning his creative path in 2014, Luke Hope’s artistic foundation originated with the form of a spoon. His work now yields all kinds of objects, both abstract and functional. Each are skillfully carved and shaped from single pieces of wood using a combination of traditional and modern carving tools and techniques.
Exquisitely crafted sculptures are made with an intimate appreciation soaring far beyond their functional resolve. As well as his sculptural work, Luke designs exclusive bespoke tableware for a growing collection of some of the worlds most renowned chefs and restaurants.
Deeply connected to the physicality of his medium, his sculptural work is often slow and contemplative; returned to and developed over time. Harnessing the unique, often anthropomorphic qualities of each piece, the work unites the boundaries of human, natural and architectural environments.
With a focus on the importance of line and the interplay of light, his current practice favours the colours and materiality of woods such as sycamore, ancient bog oak and dark walnut. These primary materials each boast solid, block colours that run throughout, with subtle gradations in grain lines and tone. Naturalised UK Sycamore is Luke’s preferred canvas, with its luster possessing qualities he likens to bone, tissues and tendons. Its ancient undulations of wood grain recall the mapped lines of a human finger print.
Luke looks beyond the qualifications of his wooden medium, interrogating the properties of other materials for inspiration. A fold in fabric, a crease in a piece of paper – he imitates the characteristics of these materials, reconfiguring them with an alluring, somewhat enigmatic identity. At the core is a synergy of natural formation and the synthetic, manipulated by human action.
This dynamic interplay of material disposition significantly impacts the way each subtle line is crafted. Vessels are arranged in clusters, like biomorphic cityscapes. Several have spine-like ridges on the outer shell, casting delicate shadows. Some have been gently warped; twisting and turning like branches grasping for sunlight. Others stand more like architectural monuments, appearing to soar despite their modest scale.
The tantalisingly narrowed curvature of a spoon handle at once exudes delicacy and elegance, but yet is robust. Ringed markings coalesce into a basin, or seem to drift rebelliously off the edge of a handle. Walnut platters host velvety pools where the wood has been excavated but are surrounded by pockets of erosion alongside a rough and bark-like skin – all dictated by the artist’s hand. Luke’s formative handwork espouses a communication between human action and nature’s temperament.
In his translation of these aesthetic objects, Luke Hope exposes the potential of wood with an unexpected and innovative vision. The work reveals his finely tuned contemplation of a symbiosis, in which the natural and man-made conjoin. The wooden medium, removed from its natural source, becomes perpetuated in a new, sculptural context, challenging us to interrogate our relationships with familiarity and expectation.