Stunning Driftwood Sculpture – British Artist
James spent his early childhood in Devon. He attended St. Andrews Prep School, near Reading in Berkshire, as a boarder, and passed his common entrance exam aged twelve. His education was as privileged as it was unconventional. His parents travelled extensively in the pursuit of art and antiques, and James spent his teenage years schooling in Basel, Switzerland, on the Adriatic coast of Italy, on the East coast of the States and central France before returning to London to take his ‘A’ levels at Davies Laing and Dick, Notting Hill Gate.
Plans to study History of Art at The Courtold Institute in London were shelved; while attending college he had started his own antiques business with a weekend stand at Portobello Market in London. The exhilaration of being self sufficient with a large chunk of cash in his pocket every Sunday afternoon made college seem unattractive by comparison!
He has always loved antiques and has been working with wood, making models and miniature sculptures since he was a small boy. His childhood was spent in the workshops of his parents’ antiques restoration company both in the UK and in France, whittling, carving and refinishing.
By the time he reached his late teens he was not only an accomplished antique dealer but also a very competent cabinet maker, and was quite at home restoring such varied items as heavily carved oak and walnut furniture to the odd Queen Anne finely veneered bureau bookcase. He first travelled to the Philippines in 1989 assisting a friend with his costume jewelry business. It was love at first site.
He was entranced by the countryside, the beaches, the wildlife and above all by the people with their natural flair for colour and artistry. In 1990 he set up a company designing and making a range of wooden objects to sell in Europe and the USA, boxes and picture frames encrusted in shells and marble, large papier mache animals and pieces of fine furniture made from wood salvaged from old demolished hardwood houses.