Single board tables
Large boards from native UK trees are increasingly difficult to find as, in general, trees of this size and age tend to become available for use only in exceptional circumstances, 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 as large trees will have seen years, often hundreds of years, of history within their lifetime.
Once felled and extracted from its location - often a difficult exercise in itself - 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.
I carry a stock of 60+ large (approx 1m wide) and exceptional single boards of native species such as Elm, Oak, Ash and Walnut at any one time.
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 stages being carried out by hand and this can be seen and felt in the finished surface.
Most of my tables stand on blacked steel bases.These are finely engineered with a patinated finish - a modern version of the traditional blacksmithing method of plunging red-hot iron into oil to initiate a reaction which blacks the metal. The process gives a burnished finish that has a ‘depth’ to it.
There are options for other types of base, including timber, but in general I like the base to be simple so as not to distract from the table top.
Other furniture pieces
I’ve worked on a range of other pieces from restaurant tableware to the fitting out of whole house interiors.
The majority of my furniture commissions are for private clients but I have also made for a number of notable commercial clients including the following:
- Margaret Howell - single board table for the MH flagship store in Wigmore St, London W1;
- The White Company - single board table and benches for US flagship store in 5th Avenue, New York;
- Matches Fashion - various furniture pieces for London store in Carlos Place, London W1 (in conjunction with P Joseph design)
- Brioni - various furniture, display pieces and fittings for London flagship store in Bruton Street, London W1 (in conjunction with P Joseph design).
See photographs for more details.