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Chatting Woodworking & Sustainability with Sophie Sellu aka Grain & Knot

March 30, 2024

Sophie Sellu creates beautifully crafted wooden objects for the kitchen and home under the moniker Grain & Knot. She uses reclaimed, storm-fallen or sustainably-sourced timber for her unique and instantly identifiable designs, including vases, brushes and decorative artwork.

We caught up with Sophie to chat about her work, her focus on sustainability and how she first got into wood carving.
Find out more about Grain & Knot on their Instagram and website.

How did you get into woodworking and woodcarving?

I have been woodworking since I was 11, taking it all the way through to 18 at school. I loved it. I love learning in a visual and physical way so this pushed my early creativity. I learnt woodcarving later on in life when I had a need to get away from my computer screen.

How did your passion become your business?

After 2 redundancies, I decided to give it a try full time, giving myself 6 months to see if it worked. So far it’s been 11 years!  It’s been a long and slow process, but it’s allowed me to work in a way that isn’t too overwhelming but allows me to still take enjoyment in the work I do.

Your pieces are so unique and are immediately recognisable as your own – where does your inspiration come from?

Thank you! It’s been years of trial and error, working intuitively with shape, form and texture. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I spend a lot of time in nature. I often find my best ideas come after a period of rest and reflection – proving how necessary it is in my practice. I also like to make things that make my eyes and hands feel happy, making lots of sketches and paintings of forms.

How important is sustainability to you, and what measures do you take to keep Grain & Knot sustainable?

Sustainability has always been at the forefront of what I’ve been doing. I didn’t see the alternative way of working right from the beginning – found materials and reclaimed timber came first. I made things out of whatever I could find, including broken furniture from reclamation yards.

Later on, I had access to storm fallen trees in small woodlands in Kent. Using the timber from these made so much sense – only using trees that were dangerous, diseased or brought down in a storm. I’ve always loved giving life to materials that are deemed as waste.

What’s next for Grain & Knot?

I really don’t like to make many plans! I just see what happens. I’m working on a new collection every few months and have a couple of things on the go behind the scenes.

I’d love to make some huge sculptures one day but I will need a bigger studio before I do that!

                    Sophie is wearing the GS Maud Lambswool Cashmere Sweater

What other small and sustainable British brands do you love?

Kingsley Walter’s Studio

House of Quinn

Monc

Marazul Clothing

Ffern

Sophie’s GS edit:

 

Proudly British Made

Proudly British Made

Local wool, local hand craftmanship

Delivery & Returns

Delivery & Returns

Treasured pieces delivered with care

Uncompromised Quality

Uncompromised Quality

Beautiful garments that will be treasured for years