Selkirk wood artist makes national awards

Selkirk artist Neil Fyffe
Selkirk artist Neil Fyffe
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SELKIRK woodturner Neil Fyffe has designed and hand-crafted awards for a top national conservation competition.

The local craftsman was picked by RSPB to create nine trophies for the charity’s Nature of Scotland Awards this year.

He said: “It’s an honour to be asked. I’ve always loved working with wood.

“Seeing trees in our landscape is very inspiring, so using wood from sustainable sources is an important factor in choosing materials for my work. Different woods have different qualities of grain, flame and texture, and you have to work with its character to get the best results. The raw timber will often determine the final product.”

The 48-year-old, whose studio workshop is in Whinfield Road, has taken inspiration from the awards’ logo and carved sycamore to replicate the logo’s leaf shape and elm for the base, both sourced in the Borders.

Based in Selkirk for the last 10 years, Neil has exhibited work in the Royal Scottish Academy and Society of Scottish Artists’ shows among others, as well as at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Harlow Carr garden near Harrogate.

The former Craftsman in Residence at Ballindalloch Castle, Banffshire, has also won awards from The Gordon Forum for the Arts and The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts.

He has also made a giant outdoors chess set for legendary Scottish comedian, Billy Connelly.

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) sponsored the creation of this year’s Nature of Scotland awards, an annual competition to honour the people and projects that have helped conserve the country’s natural heritage.

RSPB Scotland’s Sarah McDowell said: “Neil’s work is hugely impressive. His vision and unique design is a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication of our winners.”

The RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards will be held on October 30 in Edinburgh. For more information visit: rspb.org.uk/thingstodo/natureofscotland/