We speak to furniture maker and Hothouse17 participant Tim Evershed
Tim makes wooden furniture using locally sourced hardwood and other natural materials. His work aims to capture the inherent charm of the timber in its design, introducing people to the tacit qualities of native timbers
Tim has been selected for Hothouse, the Crafts Council's Talent Development Programme for emerging makers. Find out more about Hothouse
What first got you interested in making?
After University I began work at a local yacht builders and I quickly learned how rewarding it could be to stand back at the end of a day’s work and reflect on what I had made. The knowledge that my work would be enjoyed for many years was enough for me to consider a career working in a tangible way. My University experience was such that I spent most of my time in front of a screen designing and I always felt somewhat disconnected from my CAD models and rapid prototypes. This led me to train formally as furniture maker, and now my work brings the two together.
What in particular drew you to wood?
I think we all share a connection with wood that is difficult to quantify. There’s something about its warmth and familiarity that is so reassuring. As a furniture making material it is amazing, not only due to its structural properties but its uniqueness, its provenance and its renewability.
Where have you shown / sold your work so far?
2017 will be my first year doing any mainstream shows and I have just confirmed my place at the Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Festival and at New Designers One Year On.
Which project are you most proud of so far and why?
The Conholt Writing Desk because it embodies my approach to design and making. It is simple in its form with a nod to the mid century aesthetic. Functionally driven, the piece takes elements from a traditional writing desk and reinterprets them for modern life, whilst showcasing 5,000 year old British Bog oak in a sensitive but effective way. I’m currently working on a follow up piece that also brings together wood and leather in a uniquely functional way.
What do you hope to get from Hothouse?
I’m still at the very early stages of my career but I don’t understate the importance of surrounding myself with supportive people – other makers on a similar journey, previous tutors who go above and beyond, understanding friends and family have helped during periods of self doubt and I see Hothouse as an extension of this.I’d like to become more confident when speaking about my work and communicate to different markets more directly and effectively
You say that you want the “End user to discover tacit qualities” how you go about imbue this in your objects and why?
I think due to my background in Product design I am more interested in producing functional pieces rather than sculpture. I take a pared back approach when designing furniture and this gives space for the character of the material to be appreciated.I’m interested in how the user interacts with the piece - I like to imagine them running their fingers over a surface and finding a knot, some pippyness or a unique growth defect during its use.Many of the trees we use for furniture have taken a hundred years or more to grow and I aim to capture the characteristics of that tree in a way that is restrained and considered, not rustic or ‘woody’.
You use and on-site purpose built kiln to dry wood, could you tell us more about this – where it came from and why its importance in your process?
When I began Brook studio, from the outset I wanted to use local material where possible. To facilitate the drying of some locally felled timbers I had acquired, I constructed a low-tech drying chamber using plans easily found on the internet.The kiln is by no means a commercial venture, it comes from a desire to maintain greater ownership of the furniture making process and become closer to the material in which I predominantly work.
Brook Studio is named after your location close to local woodland what is the relationship you have with your location and local environment and how does this influence your work?
Being situated a stone’s throw from the woods, I believe, has influenced my work. I no longer want the cleanest, straightest, plantation grown boards as I did when I began to make furniture. I put that down to spending time in the woodland, noticing how different conditions for growth can produce different characteristics within the timber, having a greater appreciation for the imperfections and what causes them.
You can see more work from Tim and follow him at the Crafts Council Directory