My background is in industrial design. One of my first jobs was developing potties and buggies for Mothercare. But when the design department closed, I was sent out to China to source ready-made products rather than design them myself. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. After a spell of travelling, I came back and took a course in cabinetmaking with the idea of producing one-off pieces of furniture. The workshop has gradually expanded to four or five people, and we take on apprentices every couple of years. The process of working with materials is very satisfying. With wood in particular, you’re working with something that allows a very high level of craftsmanship. This is the key element for us – our products are all very well made. We don’t screw things together, for example. It’s very important for things to work well. That’s something I’m very passionate about. There is so much satisfaction to be gained from the brain-to-hand connection. Working with your hands allows you to be much more intuitive and it’s so much more fulfilling than purely working on a computer screen. I’m a great believer in getting your model of whatever it is you’re designing into your hands as early as possible so you can see what it’s like in three dimensions.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 167-197, issue 100.
Interviews Judy Diamond
Photography Neale Smith