Yugo Sculpture

Hilary Burns, Takahashi McGil
Yugo Sculpture by Hilary Burns and Takahashi McGil is part of the ‘Plant Explorations’ collection, facilitated by The New Craftsmen. Earlier this year, The New Craftsmen invited a select group of craftspeople to the Economic Botany Collections at Kew Gardens to examine and creatively respond to a myriad of objects and their narratives. The collection delves into humanity’s ever resourceful and ingenious making traditions with plants. This sculptural work is the result of a collaboration between makers Hilary Burns and the Takahashi McGil duo, who found inspiration in learning about each other's practice and methods. The form is inspired by calabash gourds indigenous to Africa, tied with strings and woven over with basketry. ‘Yugo’ is a Japanese word that means fusion, integration and coalescence which is represented in the unique joining of turned and carved wood with basketry between two renowned craftspeople.

Material: Oak, ash, willow and beech
cm: Width 60cm, Depth 36cm, Height 35cm
inches: Width 23.6in, Depth 14.2in, Height 13.8in
Care Instructions: Keep out of direct sunlight as some plant materials tend to fade over time. Dust with lint free cloth.


Two oak bowls, from local wood, were rough turned on a lathe, then dried slowly over the course of several months, then turned again to a finer thickness. An all over surface pattern was cut using a fine chise, taking several days. Then holes were drilled around the edges at carefully measured distances at two levels - to take the willow and ash basketry elements. The yugo sculpture is made using materials from the southwest of England including oak, ash, willow and beech. The ash is from logs that have been pounded to release the strips of the annual rings. The willow is stripped of its bark to reveal the white core. The warp elements have been split lengthways into three and shaved to produce flat splints. The beech comes from roots of a fallen tree found along the River Dart, which were then split and shaved.
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