!! NEW !! ...W A T E K O...

I've been busy recently developing some ideas for a range of furniture. It's a style and a way of life as much as an enterprise... 

Work in Progress: Stratocaster Mirror Frame, tribute to one of my design heroes, Leo Fender. Made from larch, an off-cut from a raised bed.

W A T E K O - from guitars to furniture
The construction techniques I use come first from the world of guitar making rather than the world of furniture which I moved into later on in my woodworking life. I found guitar making a really hard craft to learn. Making the full range of guitars from electric to classical through steel-strung acoustics involves so many different skills: some very tricky woodwork as well as inlaying, carving, electronics, metalwork and one of the hardest of all, lacquering - all to the highest possible standards. It's been lots of fun using these skills again in a new enterprise.

Work in Progress, Origami Coffee Table, made from shuttering ply off-cuts
W A T E K O - the style
Tall Thin Planter/Plant Stand, made from a reclaimed palette
My Wateko style has many different influences: Japanese art and woodwork, cubism, 1960's style, and British Georgian and country furniture to name a few, with the shapes of all kinds of guitars and parts of guitars bringing the whole the look together. Contrast is an important element of Wateko: machined surfaces contrasted with hand-worked, straight with curved, polished with raw, traditional with new, ornate with simple. Greenwood poles and reclaimed boards sit side by side.

W A T E K O - materials
Tripod Wine Table, made from a palette, plywood offcut and willow cuttings from our own trees.
I live and work on a small farm where we are exploring all aspects of sustainable living. To me, a sustainable future will be at least partly based in regenerating diverse woodland and woody products. We also make the best possible use of waste and salvaged materials we can, so I use reclaimed wood, greenwood poles and off-cuts wherever I can. It takes extra work to prepare material like this, but the results are surfaces with much more character than fresh timber would have. I love the unique patterns revealed by partly sanding printed, painted and weathered sections, or through repairing and highlighting cracks. One of the few materials I buy in is plywood, as large flat materials for table tops etc don't often turn up as salveage. I'm currently using softwood shuttering ply from Brazil. Though this is FSC grade, I'm uneasy about using anything from the other side of the world and looking for the most sustainable source of ply possible.

W A T E K O - construction
I feel that an object's construction should make best use of the materials, tools and processes easily to hand. For Wateko pieces this is based around using hand tools as much as possible, so I've devised easy ways to make joints. All pieces have a hand brushed finish that is far superior to modern spray lacquer finishing. It gives furniture a more natural surface which is both and harder-wearing and better-wearing. The pleasure of making something well, to a higher standard than really required, rather than the modern approach of making something that looks, for example, like chest of drawers but which barely has the strength to last one trip to the skip.

W A T E K O - practical and fun

This furniture is well-made and sturdy, it will wear well with use and should be easy to repair in case of accidents. (This is in contrast to much of modern furniture which I find really annoying in that is made to look like furniture but will not last due to poor construction and materials). Wateko is intended to be fun, I'll be delighted if these pieces make you laugh the first time you see them. I hope that if you buy a something it will go on giving you pleasure for many years.

W A T E K O - regenerating natural wealth

I help to manage and regenerate the ten acres of woodland here on the farm. We have started a tree nursery and a tree-planting programme. Coppiced areas encourage woodland biodiversity as well as giving quick yields of poles. Trees often fall in winter storms and I hope to use their wood more and more for furniture and other projects. I believe that in a truly, sustainable economy, natural wealth is the primary wealth and around the world we would do well to switch our focus to that rather than financial wealth.

W A T E K O - for gardens

I've been making woody items for the grden for years: planters, raised beds, and duck houses to name a few. Please get in touch if you live locally and need something made to measure and built to last for your plot.

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