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Hannah Lobley

intriguing surface textures reminiscent of wood grain

The Maker

Hannah Lobley developed the award-winning Paperwork after accidentally leaving a book out in the rain. She could not bear to throw it away and decided to reuse it, transferring the wood-working skills developed during her degree. Recycling has always been important to her, so creating a novel technique and new material, Paperwork, that used unwanted books became a defining factor within her practice. Hannah hand-makes the solid wood-like material in her Derbyshire studio. Traditional wood-working methods are used; the unique surface patination of the paper is infinitely variable and can never be exactly recreated, echoing wood grain. Wood becomes paper becomes wood again.

The Object: Paper Bowl, in production since 2014

6 cm h x 13.5 cm diameter. Laminated and compressed paper, lathe turned. (Waste paper, biodegradable glue, eco-friendly varnish.) £120

The Making

Hannah’s objective is to show that paper can be repurposed and transformed into a bespoke and decorative object, having a function after its initial use and creating an intriguing statement piece that does not look recycled. The paper is glued, layered and compressed in book presses, turning it back into a wood-like block. Once the block has dried, Hannah turns it by hand on a wood lathe to create the shape. The ensuing form is sanded and then varnished to finish.


Many awards, including #SBS Business Sunday winner selected by Theo Paphitis in 2017, Silver Award for Specialist Media in Craft & Design Selected Awards 2016, and early success as Best in Show for Eco Design at the 2008 Design Show Liverpool, judged by Wayne Hemingway.

Hannah Lobley on her Signature Style

‘This is a typical piece from my portfolio. It is a tactile bowl produced from recycled paper and has been carved into a smooth clean shape using traditional woodworking techniques. It has beautiful intriguing surface textures reminiscent of wood grain produced by the layers of paper. It is a unique piece, and does not look as though it’s been produced from paper.’

Expert Eye

‘The beauty of our chosen material, pewter, is best demonstrated by the skill of the craftsmen who work it on lathes. Therefore to see similar levels of skill being utilised to create such fabulous work in paper is wonderful.’  Richard Abdy (Wentworth Pewter)