My obsession with drawers and collecting began at an early age. As a child I would enjoy riffling through a large bank of watchmakers’ drawers that lined the corridor towards my grandma’s kitchen. Each tiny drawer was full of every useful object that you could ever need: an odd screw, a piece of string, folded plastic bags, buttons, paper and pens. As an adult history is repeating itself as an old drawer unit leads the way to my kitchen with almost everything I could ever need to make something from nothing. Everyone should have a useful drawer.
I have been designing and constructing new furniture with the aim of lavishing attention on once discarded, broken and over-looked objects. The main rule I have set myself is to only use objects that no longer fulfil the purpose for which they were originally created, and to make the unwanted wanted again.
I collect hundreds of drawers, doors, fittings and fixtures before finding the right combination to construct a new piece. I only use broken, discarded and odd drawers that no longer have a carcass therefore work can often sit unfinished for many months as I search for the elusive, perfect drawer to finish the design. The search can take me far and wide building relationships with second-hand furniture dealers, car boot sellers, market stall holders and waste clearance companies selecting items that would often be disposed of without a second thought. Every item has its own tale to tell as I prolong its history and preserve its future.
The main construction material running though the collection is both new and reclaimed plywood salvaged from building site hoardings across London, accompanied by steel bases, which are made locally by a roof-rack manufacturer.
Vintage enamelled advertising signs are used as laminates on sideboards. I have only used signs that have been significantly damaged and are no longer appealing to collectors. Some were found patching up holes in leaking barns, others cut into pieces and found in markets & scrap yards. The sideboards are topped off with reclaimed school laboratory teak work tops that are refinished but children’s scribbles and signs of wear from years of use are still evident.
Coffee tables are made to house and preserve collections of discarded objects, such as light bulbs, torches and boxes, which are often found when rummaging through an odd drawer. Other pieces utilise vintage screen-printed cardboard boxes found in dusty attics during house clearances and stuffed with unwanted possessions at car boot sales. A small selection from my collection of over 300 boxes have made their way into the new furniture collection.
Found objects continue in the form of a 10ft refectory table constructed from decommissioned London Underground signs with an Eames table base, and a new bench made from decommissioned London bus stop signs with upholstered Routemaster bus seat fabric.
further photographs of the full collection of 21 pieces follows soon...