"Hand printing, painting and making based on observational sketches of the natural world"
Hugh Dunford Wood lives by the south coast in Dorset, England, and has been painting colorful landscapes and making his Handmade Wallpaper since he was a student at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art. Everything he does reflects his passion for color and the countryside. He keeps a daily sketchbook of observational drawings of the natural world. Nature is the best designer and his most constant inspiration. His wallpapers bring the outside worlds inside to decorate walls as a background to artworks and to fine furniture. He also prints textiles and linocut prints which come in limited editions of 75 or 250, and are very collectable. Being one of the only practitioners working entirely by hand without any mechanical aids, Hugh specialises in offering the client all of the designs in a combination of any two colours that they can imagine. Working exclusively to order, He carries no stock, so a client is not limited to preselected colours. The way he works is the most simple and direct way of printing. He paints the background colour onto the paper and leave it to dry. The paint of the pattern is applied to the block with a 4” brush, and pressed onto the reverse with a 4” hand roller, or sometimes stomped by foot – see the film on my website. It is then hung up to dry. The paper can then be waterproofed if needed, otherwise it is ready for dispatch.
The wallpapers are informed by the constant practise of observational drawing. You will recognise Dunford Wood Handmade Wallpapers by the unusual, mottled look of the design. This irregular texture is testament to the integrity of the production – the brush marks applying the paint to the block together with the human pressure pressing the block to the paper, produce subtle variations of repeat which are characteristic of handmade block printing, and quite distinctive from the uniform flatness of silk screen or machine printed wallpapers. Making this wallpaper is a living art, and a room gains the presence of this very human touch. Hugh has worked with many international designers such as Paul Smith and Yoshi Yamamoto, and has work in collections around the world.
Hugh has also worked in the theatre as Artist in Residence at The Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon and at London’s Globe Theatre in 2000, and The Museum of Bermuda Art in 2009 for the celebrations of that island's 400th anniversary of its first settlement.