Lee John Phillips

United Kingdom

Lee is a freelance illustrator from Pembrokeshire, Wales.

An ex Art and Design Teacher of thirteen years, Lee’s route into carving emerged through his turbulent career change. He always wanted to be a freelancer and teaching supplemented an uncertain client base.

Trying to juggle two professions proved difficult and took a strain on his wellbeing. Drawing was always a constant for him, but as it transformed from hobby to job, it led to a significant void in his creative escapism.

Lee has always been a practical person and considers himself to be a maker rather than an artist. Living relatively rural in West Wales, he considers it inevitable that he began carving. Little did he realise the impact that it would have on him or his social circles.

After finishing just his first spoon, he realised a close friend had also recently carved their first. Within a fortnight they had founded the Narberth Whittling Association (NWA). That was four years ago.The group now has over twenty active members and have met every Thursday since.

Lee is fortunate to spend as much time as possible at the coast and feels the design of his spoons have been very much dictated by cooking outdoors and the lifestyle that accompanies it.
Lee also feels that his background in the arts has been a real benefit to his wood working and he has been surprised to find that some of his favourite carvers share similar beginnings.

When he isn’t fulfilling client commissions or carving spoons, Lee is drawing the entire contents of his late grandfather’s tool shed. The mammoth project was started in 2014 and he has drawn almost 8,000 objects to date. He estimates there to be 100,000 in total and sees it as his life’s work.

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