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The Comedy of Errors

Art Works: Sara Baker

2 March 13 words: Sara Baker

"I like creating things in the image of nature but also use contrasting materials"

Coat Stand

This is part of a range called FurnNature; I like creating things in the image of nature but also use contrasting materials. I sealed the driftwood trunk of this coat stand with beeswax from a local beekeeper, however I found a final coat of varnish provided better protection.

I hand-forged the coat hooks in iron and shaped them to look like leaves on iron branches. The base is actually a log xylophone but it fitted perfectly and, hey presto, the coat tree was born. It’s nice to see  people’s faces when they realise that the base is musical. A guy recently recorded the sounds it made to loop into other projects he’s working on - I like the chain reaction a piece of art or installation can create.

This idea came from a walk on Crowe Point beach in Devon, I was banging on to a friend about the amazing materials right under our noses, when we came across this beautiful bit of driftwood that was the perfect size and length for a coat stand.

I made most of this piece in my friend’s workshop in Sherwood Forest, but the iron leaves were made in a blacksmith’s workshop in Wales. Until this point I’d practiced welding before but never blacksmithing. It’s amazing. I called up a blacksmith and offered to work for free for a week, in return for him showing me the basics. 

Tree Door

A more recent piece was for the Creative Corner on Stoney Street. The installation transformed the doorway into Robin Hood’s hideout, The Major Oak, so that people were walking through the tree to enter the building. I only had three days to do it and it was freezing. With the help of a friend we gathered enough bark and moss to do the job. I love the idea that the copper-wire is visibly sewing the tree together, just like giant beams are used to hold the real Major Oak up.

There’s been some great feedback about the doorway, and I especially love catching passers by do a double take. Some people said the tree wouldn’t last, that people would rip it down. It’s really good to see that it’s standing strong and is being appreciated for what it is. To me that is payment enough.

I had a serious accident last year that resulted in a long recovery and lots of free headspace. If you’d have asked me ten months ago what I’d be doing right now, I would not have said this. But I love where I am in life and the direction I’m going. I’d love to make giant installations and street art for 350.org. They’re an amazing organisation, it would be nice to do something big and work with a group of people.


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