Furniture connects us with our physical environment, so good furniture is important. Good pieces are a pleasure to use, and pleasurable pieces that also connect us with the people and places we love, become meaningful. They bring joy to everyday life.
Most of us aren't comfortable with the unknown, so commissioning a piece of furniture for the first time can be challenging. At the outset, we tend to gravitate to things we’ve already seen or imagined, but that changes as we become more familiar with the process. Mutual understanding and trust grows, exploration becomes easier and exciting. My customers and I get to know each other well as we work together on bespoke projects. It helps us take projects to a meaningful place together.
Games Table Commission
In 2014, I designed this games table for a young boy who had recently sent a letter to Father Christmas, asking for a table to play cards. His mother, recognising the possibility of working together on the design, rerouted the letter to me.
A collaboration between young James and I led to the creation of one of my favourite ever pieces and a table - complete with sectret compartment - that will be part of the furniture of James’s life forever.
The Walnut table was hand built here in New Zealand then sent to England to be fitted out by Max Parker, makers of the world's finest chess and backgammon boards. It arrived back in New Zealand just in the nick of time....on Christmas Eve.
Bespoke furniture collection
Occasionally I am invited to create a collection of pieces for one home. Often I combine bespoke designs with some of my signature pieces.
In this home, every single item was designed and made specifically to suit. The timber and steel pieces include coded messages in pierced Braille.
I was invited by the owner of this beautiful home, designed by Warren and Mahony Architects, to create a warm, elegant interior that could also stand up to robust family use. A palette of warm timbers, industrial steel and New Zealand leathers compliment the sophisticated, contemporary-classic lines of the architecture.
In 2010, I was invited to participate in the art exhibition, 'roundabout', held initially at the Wellington City Gallery and later in Tel Aviv, where it drew record crowds. In response to the theme of the exhibition, I designed a piece with 108 segments to correspond with the number of artists who came together to share their work. Each choice of Walnut and gun-blued steel - the same materials traditionally combined in guns - amplified and emphasized the theme that I encoded in the center of the table. Using an inverted braille so neither blind nor sighted would be advantaged in interpreting it, I encoded Martin Luther King’s immortal words, "I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear.” By using materials usually associated with the manufacture of firearms in an object that instead unifies, literally bringing people around the same table, I hoped to instill a message of peace, tolerance and communication.