I prefer working in solid wood because it is both technically challenging, and extremely beautiful. Nothing can replace or emulate the look of a finely grained piece of hardwood. I like the fact that wood isn’t stable – it has to be able to move – otherwise it splits and warps. Your design must account for this, and you need to develop a sixth sense about what the wood can and cannot do.
I’m fascinated by overcoming the technical problems. I start with the limitations of ‘table’ or ‘cabinet’ and then within those boundaries, see how far I can go with it. I like to push those boundaries. What is a piece of furniture; what is a piece of art? Can the two be combined?
Art for me has to show superb technical ability and skill, whether it’s in wood, metal, paint, or whatever. That’s a personal view. Artists must surely have to work hard to develop their skills, their abilities, before they can develop a unique style. I like to do things that have never been done before.
You could say my ideas are inspired by forms seen in nature, but this is always filtered through my own craftsmanship. Creativity can only come if you first aim for perfection, and then expand upon it. You must have the technical ability first. Then when you have ideas, you will have the knowledge in your fingertips to carry them out.
I want to make something that a client can have in their house – they can come home from work and it’s not just another piece of furniture, but something that enhances their life. We should choose our furniture not just for the function, but also in the same way we choose a piece of art – to enhance and transform our lives.Back to Members' Journal