At Makerversity we have a rolling support program for a variety of people at various stages of their career. One of these programs, the U25 scheme, offers free space and access to the wealth of knowledge our members have locked up in their big beautiful brains. The latest legend to go through the scheme is none other than Hetty Scrope, alway seen with at least one piece of wood on her person, she took some time out of the Makerversity workshops to answer some of my questions.
So Hetty, what is your practice?
Woodwork. I’m playing around with modern techniques like epoxy casting and laser cutting but the core of the business is traditional hand-carving. I’m largely self-taught, and still fairly new to this, so it’s a slow process and a steep learning curve – but I’m enjoying experimenting with where I want to take it.
I remember you coming to a workshop during LDF, how long have you been involved with Makerversity? How did arrive at becoming a U25 member?
Yes, I’d heard about Makerversity whilst researching shared studios in London – it was by far the most central and supportive – both important things for me. I signed up for the workshop and a tour, and was so excited by the range of activities going on, and the range of machines and advice available.
What inspiration do you channel in your work?
I’m still very much experimenting, but using reclaimed and local wood is central to my practice. Making something useful out of waste product really is the most satisfying thing. This creates its own challenges and constraints – in terms of size and style. I have recently been using some offcuts of spalted beech, which has beautiful grain patterns but is difficult to carve and liable to cracks and breakages. To fix these, I am busy trying different types of epoxy and resin casting to fill the holes – and give the piece a fresh and modern character.
Have you received any support from other members or MV in your time here?
The other MV members and staff are so generous with advice, particularly for the U25 members I think, and the sense of community is really strong. I was unfamiliar with most of the power tools in the wood workshop when I arrived – having struggled with my dad’s rusty old hand tools before that – so Scott (in-house maker) has taught me a lot and encouraged me to become really comfortable using the bandsaw and other machines which really speed up my process and open up options for developing new products. It’s such supportive community, everyone’s really cheering each other on.
Where would you be working if you weren’t at MV at the moment? Do you feel there is value in working in such a location?
I probably would have had to work at home for longer – and I’m convinced I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I have, in terms of headspace and inspiration for the company as well as physical production. It is so inspiring to come into work everyday and see people, just getting things done. Incredible things. It has really opened my eyes to what its is possible to achieve, with little other than a good idea and a lot of determination.
What projects have you done recently?
I’ve only recently finished my website, which will hopefully be launching in February, so the idea of projects sounds rather grand. I have been working on a collection of cheese boards and a set of spoons – from ladles and salad servers to soup and tea spoons. I’ve also been busy with a number of custom orders, which will be ready to ship out soon.
What plans do you have for upcoming projects?
I want to continue honing my carving skills whilst also experimenting with new techniques and materials – I have plans for a set of metal-dipped spoons and also some more pieces involving resin casting, which I can get really creative with.
Have you had any collaborations while you’ve been at MV
I’ve been busy working out my own practice so far, but collaborations are something I’m really keen to engage in in the near future, especially with some of these techniques I’m unfamiliar with. There’s so much you can learn by sharing ideas.
Who do you find exciting at MV? Why?
The Slow Journalism Company is a great initiative – I got my dad a subscription to Delayed Gratification for Christmas!
Thanks for your time Hetty!