Some of the first experiments I undertook involved geometric designs which felt like a natural avenue to take. Drilling squares, lines and circles were good practice to work out the best methods and approach.

‘Geometry III’ . 2004. 122cm x 122cm .

Judging the spacing between holes to connect the ends of a drilled circle, how to drill a straight line freehand and how much area to leave for it to appear solid were key lessons.

‘Geometry’  450mm x 450mm. One of the first drillworks panels. This simple circle and square pattern was drilled with left and right angles so the pattern changes depending where it is viewed from. Early pieces like this were hand finished by burning the board to remove debris and colour the surface followed by waxing and buffing. The border is painted black . Private collection


 The drillbit is a precise tool and creating intricate plotted designs allowed me to plan an approach to each work which would create a beautiful outcome whilst at the same time move me along the road of learning precisely what I could achieve with the various sized bits, the density of drilling and the angle of the holes.

geo lit right
‘Geometry II’   Scaled up from the much smaller ‘Geometry’.  The work was finished by burning the surface of the board, especially around the drilled areas. Wood stain and wax finished it off giving a leathery, earthy feel.


I discovered that by using these techniques I could control the visible light.

This allowed me to vary light and shade in different areas and also from where a viewer stands thus creating the illusion of movement in the work.

‘Industrial Rain’ 2002. At 122cm x 122cm in dimension, this piece was the largest I had attempted at the time. It was also one of the first works with deliberately angled drilling involved. By using compasses to plot repeated concentric circles on top of one another I had accurate lines to follow with the drill. I used a variety of drill sizes, spacings and angling to achieve this result. The piece was then painted blue-black and satin lacquered. Private collection.

Shaded areas disappear whilst brightly lit areas become dim and controlling this variation is an essential aspect in making a Drillwork piece.

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