Art Focus: Maxim Hastings


Maxim Hastings shapes bowls from indigenous hardwoods - ash, oak, elm, yew - each species having its own quality of grain and colour. He upholds the craft tradition of ‘ truth to materials’ which means that like the studio pottery of the Japanese golden age he embraces the concept of Wabi-sabi ( imperfection) by giving flaws and cracks pride of place.

Maxim sources windblown and discarded cuts of fallen trees, branches and crusty hollows of bark from his locality. Each vessel is hand worked and unique. His bowls are by definition utilitarian - made for containing. Maxim owns the practicality of a craftsman - the artist’s sculptural purity of form needs to be tweaked to be of purpose. 


The craft practice of Maxim Hastings is continually evolving. There is no clear style or concept - instead, each bowl is imbued with its ‘tree’ personality. Looking at some of his blackened incised bowls we do sense the influence of place - his early childhood in rural Kenya. The earthy and rough hewn nature of his creations also reflect his life as a landscape gardener, working daily amongst trees in Wales and now North Cornwall.