Single board tables
Large boards of native UK timber are increasingly difficult to find, but I believe that when an ancient tree does come down we should use it respectfully. This requires time and care in turning it from tree to table. Each board has a back story and it begins a long time before the commissioned piece is made. Large trees often come from interesting locations and will have seen hundreds of years of history in their lifespan. Once fallen and extracted from its location - often a difficult exercise - the log is taken to a specialist sawmill to be cut into boards, which are then gently air dried and conditioned for between 3 - 5 years before being ready for use.
When a table is commissioned the right board is selected not just for species and size but also for overall balance of shape and features.
The making process is slow and considered, with all processes being carried out by hand and this can be felt in the finished surface.
Because the board is the main feature the base shouldn’t compete so I use simple, but beautifully finished, polished black steel bases to support it rather like an artefact displayed in a museum.
Larger pieces / room installations
The making of a room or interior requires a greater range of materials and making skills than a single piece of furniture but the same approach applies.
What I think is different about the way I work is that materials and making techniques inform the development of the design from the outset.
Samples are as important in the process as drawings and the finished result is an honest reflection of the materials and craft that went into it. We’re not afraid of knots and and splits in boards, they are part of the beauty of wood, but we do integrate them sparingly and thoughtfully in the whole.
My aim in constructing the interior of a house is to bring that feeling of warmth, tactility and homeliness that you feel in an old country house. In large part this comes from the materials used and the way in which they age over time and I see no reason why this feeling can’t be applied to modern buildings.
We’re equally happy working from a blank page or as part of a team with an architect or designer.
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