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Nick Lamb Works Biography

Nick Lamb is a bit of a rarity; as a modern woodcarver he has largely adopted the aesthetics of a culture distant in time and place from his own. Born in Cambridge, England, he trained as a graphic designer at Berkshire College of Art, but realized he preferred working in three dimensions. He gravitated to woodcarving, a pastime he had enjoyed as a child, but which he now undertook seriously. In a life-defining afternoon, Lamb came across a book on Japanese netsuke, the decorative toggle-beads traditionally used to attach small carrying cases to the sash of a man’s kimono. Lamb was immediately drawn to these compact, intricately carved ornaments, their lifelike detail, humor, and nature-based forms. He began to design and carve his own, mostly animals of boxwood, olive wood, and pink ivory wood. Lamb is now one of the most highly regarded and prize-winning carvers of contemporary netsuke, and his pieces are collected privately and publicly, and exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide.

Lamb, who has since relocated to the United States, now also carves larger animal sculptures in addition to netsuke. A selection of these he has cast into bronze, although he develops his own patinas for them. For most pieces he uses the antique carving tools he has reworked himself. He rarely resorts to the drill, much preferring the process of hand working throughout. However, he turned to the drill and lathe for these wonderful cherry wood shot glasses. As wood is not an ideal carrier for liquids, he designed them to fit a glass that can be easily removed for cleaning. Created especially for Winfield Gallery, they feature elegantly carved and lifelike pairs of lovebirds and turtledoves and, in a salute to the Monterey Bay, pairs of sea creatures.

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