Nicola Henshaw has worked in the craft field since she graduated in 1989. A grant from the Crafts Council enabled her to set up a workshop in London. The distinctive carving style and subtle colours of Nicola’s work owe much to her travels in Africa, India and the Far East. She draws inspiration from proverbs and fables, researching her carvings by observing and drawing animals, noting their particular and peculiar behaviour.
Nicola’s work is both sculptural and functional, an intriguing combination of the real and the magical. Two cats with intertwined tails are transformed into an elegant chair, a peacock with outstretched wings and a fanned tail creates an exquisite bench; fold up the wings of a secretary bird and they become the leaves of a coffee table.
Creating her work for exhibitions as well as to commission, Nicola carves European hardwoods. The surface details of each piece are finely tooled with gouge chisels, colour is applied using water based stains and the wood is then sealed with shellac and wax.