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Alice Blogg

by Rachael Chambers

Published: september 2017

Growing up in the rolling hills of Dorset, Alice Blogg had a very creative upbringing where her mother encouraged her to think freely, play and make. A favourite pastime involved whittling sticks with a penknife, the sticks would be adorned with patterns that Alice had handcarved.

However it wasn’t until Alice’s ‘A’ level art project that a more serious piece of woodworking came to fruition, “a rather ambitious curved cupboard,” comments Alice.

Going on to study 3D Design at Manchester Metropolitan, Alice found new thinking, new friends and a new pathway that would lead her to learn woodworking and furniture making.

“University opened my mind to the world of design and what is out there and how to think creatively,” explains Alice. “I also met a lot of my creative friends at University.

“After working in London for a short while I then went on to work at a joiner's back in my home county of Dorset. The joiners taught me the basics of wood working and the knowledge to continue my learning further and start making furniture.” 

Alice has since stayed in Dorset where she now has her own workshop and the surrounding countryside has become a source of inspiration and spiritual ease for her.

“My workshop is in West Dorset looking over to Egardon hill fort. It has a fantastic view and tranquility about it. It enables me to focus on the work in hand and also be at peace encouraging my creativity. With views over fields I can see the seasons and the trees blowing in the wind.”

Inside the workshop Alice works with a master craftsman, each of them have their own benches that they made out of local beech. One wall has an illustrated pheasant painted by a friend and the other holds a plethora of tools and part finished work. The air is filled with the smell of fresh wood and oil, the oil being that which Alice and her colleague use to seal and colour the wood before it leaves for the next customer. Currently Alice is working on a set of bar stools, a special commission from a client.

The wood for the stools and the numerous other commissions in the pipeline are locally sourced British timber, a fact that Alice is proud of.

“I source all of my wood locally as well as using various timber yards to buy British woods from. I am building a log shed this summer to store and dry the local wood in. I use various different hardwoods; oak, ash, cherry, holly and I have a few clients where I am working from tree to piece; cutting trees down from their own forests, planking the tree up, waiting patiently for it to dry and then designing and making specific pieces for them.” 

While much of Alice’s work is to commission, she also sells her work locally and at a few shows around the country. In fact it was at The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey back in June that I first met Alice, it was her teasel lampshade that drew me to her stand.

The teasel lampshade also drew attention three years ago when Alice decided to create a wooden lampshade to replace a paper shade in her office, with the intention of brightening up the space in preparation for open studios.

“The teasel lampshade was sold within 10 minutes of opening and orders were taken,” she enthuses.“This was the start and it has evolved as a natural process from then. Something I love to make and it also brightens the spaces when showing off my furniture.”

A lot of work sells through word of mouth, “a beautiful way of working as you know you must be doing something right,” says Alice. Her work is also sold online and has been sent to far flung places such as New York and Munich, but local events still play a part in her events calendar and this year she is inviting three other artists to join her as she opens her doors for the Bridport open studios from 9-17 September.


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