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Michael Clarke, smiling holding a chisel standing next to lathe.
Beautiful bowls crafted by Michael Clarke of Port Navas Wood Art

Michael Clarke, was born and raised in Gloucestershire. From a very young age, he learnt so much about the art of woodwork from his father. This passion led to his interest and training in engineering and transferred his skills into home building. Sensitively restoring and renovating old properties, breathing life back into neglected homes for future generations to enjoy. The last house to be transformed was his own in Cornwall, which is where he now has his wood turning workshop, in idyllic Port Navas. 


Michael grew to love Cornwall on many family holidays growing up. His lifelong connection to the county grew stronger during the years he brought his own children to holiday in Cornwall.


Along with the Cornish coastline Michael also draws his inspiration from the beauty of woodlands. He spent six years living in the centre of a beautiful woodland in Gloucestershire. While building the house, which he lived in, he honed his skills in the craft of wood turning. It was a constant source of inspiration to be surrounded by the material he worked with.


The alluring colours of the coastal waters and unique quality of Cornish light, since moving to Cornwall from Gloucestershire, has undoubtedly added a remarkable dimension to his work. 


Michael’s workshop is located in Port Navas which is surrounded by an ancient woodland and is on the banks of the Helford estuary, where the river is in constant ebb and flow with the sea. He most certainly is inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the area bringing woodland and sea together.


“I bring elements of all of these things into the pieces that I make” he says, “each piece is unique.” “They are highly coloured or decorated, embellished in some form or another, using my distinctive translucent colouring techniques, enhancing the natural beauty of the wood in each piece. All are finished to the highest standard achievable.”


Living in a woodland area, locally sourced wood is often abundant and is predominantly used in Michael’s work. By reclaiming oak, cherry, Monterey pine, sycamore, beech, and ash trees that have either fallen down from storm damage, been removed for safety reasons, or been felled due to disease, Port Navas Wood Art is giving these beautiful trees a second life.


Michael Clarke is a regular exhibitor as a associate member of St Ives premier gallery The Penwith. He is a member of the ‘The Register of Professional Turners’ which is a group of international quality and excellence assured wood turners. He is often asked to make one off commission pieces to suit client’s requirements or left to interpret a creative brief.

Registered Professional Turner logo
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