Thursday, 20 September 2012

my design week

So as its design week in London I have been having my own design week in Norfolk and have made three of my designs that have been burning a hole in my sketchbook and my head for a while now. As detailed in previous blog posts and tweets, I have been working on some desk accessory ideas, -born out the need to start making some smaller designs as mentioned in previous posts- and thought it was high time to get them made. I have way too much sapele wood at the moment and thought this would be the best material to try ideas out on as it finishes really well and I have worked with it before.
  The idea behind these accessories was to create an accompliment to a free standing desk or working space, so I wanted the aesthetic pared down and the function to shine through.  As to me accessories seem to be singular in there function and not achieve the multi-use that people now use their desks for, what with people having more possessions and working from home for example too. So my designs are based around these ideals.

  So the first design is a simple tray with proportions based on normal pens and pencils but with added depth for adding anything that the user would want to keep too hand and organised (phone, keys, small change). The base is felted to avoid scratching and add some colour to the piece. But the simplicity of this highlights the function of it which is only limited by the user.
  The second design takes the tray idea further and adds some more functional elements to increase its usage. The first is a simple slot running the length of the piece which acts as a notice board to store anything the user may need for inspiration or daily tasks, cards, notes etc. further freeing up the desk space and creating order and a base for the users belongings and important items. The other noticeable feature is the circular detail at the other end of the tray which again performs two functions. It can be used to store paper clips or loose items, even a candle! But by placing a rolled up piece of paper or card in the circular slot you then created another area to store pens, pencils, rulers etc. Giving total freedom to how they use it. Proportions have only changed from the first tray along the length to accommodate this unique circular slot.

  So from just a simple oblong section of wood, function and pared down aesthetics have created a very usable desk accessory that can be used in so many ways. Only one tool was used to make these designs, my trusty router. And I can see these designs made from any hard wood to match whatever scheme the user has on their desk/room.  I will be showing and selling these desk accessories in my shop on very soon, once I can obtain some different wood. And on my coroflot portfolio page.
  The third design I have made is an idea for a coat rack using sapele wood again and ash for the peg hooks. The difference with this idea is that a slot has been added to the top backing plate which as the photo shows allows papers, letters, postcards etc etc to be placed along its length. Giving this coat rack a unique extra function.  As not every hall way is bigger enough to have a free standing coat rack, this idea came about trying to give the humble wall mounted coat rack some added value in confined spaces. I played around with many different ideas based on this theme which I will probably make one day but I wanted something that looked simple and uncluttered that the user could adapt and customise. Again this design will be available to buy soon in a choice of woods. The next stage will be to add to the desk accessories I have made with more designs based on this theme of multi use and further exploit this idea of space saving.


Sunday, 9 September 2012

thinking small

time for a brief update since my last post which detailed my 'fort' candle holder which currently i am making in bigger versions to sell on my online showcase at I have also started to make some desk accessories now as i have had many ideas in countless sketch books that i just needed to make, out of all the scrap tropical hardwood i have left over from previous projects. My descision to make some smaller items didn't come lightly as i wanted to try and continue making bigger items of furniture but with limited space, limited time and resources i have to just market what i have at the moment and pusd on with my commission work.
  So whats left of the summer sun is used to good effect at the moment crafting these desk accessories which will of course be online as soon as they are made. Deciding what accessories to make in an age where working has changed dramatically due to mobile phones and the such, proved difficult and if any one has any suggestions to other items of desk accessoires that could be made let me know. As it was a tough decision coming up with designs that were needed on a desk in this day and age that could be used by a wide demographic. So i concentrated on function and pared down style and letting the wood speak for the design. As i see these accessories as a fairly high end aesthetic that suits the tight grain of the sapele wood i need to source some leather to add to these designs so they can be used on a variety of surfaces. As with alot of what i do its all new to me making smaller items so its a big learning curve for me, but one i am relishing. So i am hoping these accessories will represent a new direction in my work, a move towards smaller items that can be crafted from more expensive hardwoods and also show off my creative thinking.

while constructing these new designs i am also continuing marketing my work which is viewable on and trying to find other shops and galleries to show my work. It will take a while i feel. I am also gearing up for the brillaint london design festival. I have alot to see as i won't be exhibiting my work so i am going along to check out what everyone else is doing and pick up loads of tips and ideas. You can learn alot from just watching and observing remember. It will be a great time in the big smoke as the world has been centred on the city it seems, i will hopefully get a chance to walk around the olympic park and marvel at the architecture too.

so a busy few weeks ahead, but the goal is still the same. the journey continues