Rob Bishop’s woodwork art by Nick Waters

Rob Bishop’s woodwork art by Nick Waters

Came across this write up about me other day, I’ve attached a link to the Dog world website and the article.


Rob Bishop’s woodwork art by Nick Waters

Created: 09/04/2014

THERE was a time when Crufts was a rendezvous for lovers of all dog art. A move from London, the passing of the years, and possibly a change in people’s collecting habits, have seen a decline in the number of dealers exhibiting older dog art, with just one now left.
Contemporary artists and those exhibiting contemporary art continue to flourish and each year I like to get round them all in the hope of finding something new and innovative. A few years ago it was Martial Robin from France who continues to exhibit there and this year it was Ven-Art.
Ven-Art – art built up from veneers – is the brainchild of talented young Rob Bishop. Rob studied graphic design at Cambridge Regional College and model making at university before being apprenticed to a master carpenter. He specialised as a cabinet maker for seven years, which developed his skills and artistry in wood veneers. This in turn inspired his artwork and led him to develop Ven-Art.
Veneer – thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3mm glued onto core panels – has been known for more than 4,000 years. The ‘inventors’ were Egyptians who valued it for its aesthetic quality while ensuring that as little wood as possible was wasted. In Renaissance and Baroque Europe it reached artistic perfection on furniture by some of the great masters of the art.
What Rob does with it is unique; creating pictures that have depth and subtle beauty. As with artists working in paint, Rob has the finished picture in his mind and then breaks it down into layers starting with a base of birch wood ply. He then applies up to eight layers of veneer, each one skilfully cut with a scalpel and carefully chosen for its grain, texture and colour. The veneers he uses include birch, beech, cherry, walnut, wenge, a very dark wood from tropical Africa and sapele also from tropical Africa which is reminiscent of mahogany and used by Cadillac as an interior wood trim on its vehicles.
Rob started out making celebrity portraits to order. His first commission was a portrait of Michael Caine purchased by a local company to be presented to the actor. Since then he has created a wide range of portraits of celebrities and more recently branched out into animal portraiture. One of his horse studies is Frankel, the winner of 14 races in an undefeated three-year career, another is a triple portrait of Sprinter Sacre, Bobsworth and Simonsig.
Rob works from a number of photographs which help him understand the character of his subject before selecting the veneers he considers the most suitable.
Finally each picture is finished in a hand-made frame also made by Rob. He can be contacted at or through his website


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