About the Artist

After his first job in a sheet metal factory left him somewhat cold and uninspired, Rob Heard headed into the woods of Somerset at just 18 years old, to get down to the macho business of tree-felling and a return to nature.

Rob has been a man of the woods ever since, averse to keyboard and pen, at one with chainsaw and chisel – living out a lifelong affinity with timber borne during a childhood where he accompanied his father, a crafter of cricket bats, on his forays to harvest willow.

This career path gradually evolved into building timber playgrounds for children – where Rob became renowned for his trademark pirate ships. During the planning process of each playground project, he developed small-scale working models for his clients to illustrate how the finished play equipment would fit together. Rob found that these models were often ‘lost’ by his clients, whose children no doubt fell in love with these apparent ‘toys’ and squirreled them away to their bedrooms.

Unexpected inspiration followed when, after injuring his wrist, Rob was forced to stop lugging tree trunks and spent six months recovering from the surgery at home. During this time, he scaled down his focus and began to think big, yet in miniature, creating his first Bough House sculpture for his three young daughters. He has been creating these intricate yet robust pieces ever since:

“My only limit is the height of my workshop ceiling and maybe that’s a blessing!”

The Creative Process

Rob Heard and his Bough Houses