The artistic works of Brendan Collum are so popular that they have been brought all over the world and grace the homes of many famous names. Thousands of years in the making his pieces represent a link between the artistry of the earth and the guiding hand of the craftsman who creates them.
Using fire, water and wood Brendan creates unique pieces of art that are much sought after. Over the last three decades Brendan has developed his art and his business: “I am over 30 years working with Bog Oak. When I first started it was mostly souvenir items with Irish emblems like harps, Celtic crosses and shamrocks. I started turning different woods at first and the items that were the most popular were those done in Bog Oak.”
Brendan’s passion for his craft is evident when he speaks about what he does: “I was fascinated with wood turning right from the start. When I started turning pieces of Bog Oak, which is readily available around my area, I was selling it to craft shops. As things progressed I realised that people wanted more artistic pieces.”
The self taught artist has been experimenting and researching with Bog Oak over the years: “It is difficult to work with. The wood itself is extremely hard. It has to be dried for a few years before it can be worked on. Like wine you have to mature the wood, otherwise it will crack. It is hard on tools and it is hard to work on, but it takes a lovely finish.”
Over the years his eye for design and the process has changed and developed. Brendan has a great love for the artistic sculpture of the natural roots that suggest the shape of the piece: “It is a pleasure to work on it. I really enjoy it. There is a mystery as to what shapes will emerge as I work on the wood, I can get a root and it will be covered clay and fibres before I start. I work with fire and water as well as the wood. Sometimes I would get a big twisted root and initially it would be very unsightly, I would go over it with a gas torch and burn off the dead material, then I would power wash it and the shape would begin to emerge from it. I help the shape along.”
The quality of the Drumlish craftsman is such that his work has been presented to many famous names down through the years. Mary McAleese, John Hume, Alex Ferguson and countless sports personalities and community activists have been awarded his work. If you would like to know more about Brendan’s work visiting his website at www.bogoakart.ie.