London's Raw Craft Show Focuses on the Essence of Furniture Making

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

"Raw Craft: fine thinking in contemporary furniture" is a small show that emphasizes the purity and functionalism of furniture making. Organised by the British Crafts Council, seven designers celebrate the quality of their materials and the simplicity of technique.

There is no flash or bling here. Instead the pieces are functional and straightforward. Unnecessary decoration is kept to a minimum; it's technique that is important. It's hands-on furniture, so they are all one-offs and limited editions.

In this time of austerity, these makers are turning out work that is sincere, straightforward, well-made, and sustainable.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Peter Marigold has been working in the UK for quite a while and his work is always featured in design shows. These chess pieces are particularly appropriate for this blog. Made out of one single branch of wood, he has made the different pieces fit the shape of the wood, with smaller pawns and more solid castles.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Oscar Narud designs work for daily domestic use, such as benches and tables. This work is part of the Keel Series and is influenced by Norwegian sailboats. The legs fit neatly into the slots and make the work easily set up and delivered as a flat pack.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Seongyong Lee makes simple but traditional pieces. For this stool he developed a new method of tubing wood, based on cardboard tubes. He was in the Brit Insurance Designs last year. His philosphy: "I like things to look simple but with thorough consideration behind. I like things which are good to look at and can be used intuitively. I respect the power of hand craft."

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Fabien Capello made a stool out of a Christmas tree in 2009 and he is still at it. Now his designs are more refined and elegant, as witnessed by the joints between the different stumps on this large table.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

These are not IKEA chairs, they are made out of wood. In a tongue-in-cheek reference to those folding chairs, Simon Jones has designed this prototype to be constructed by local craftsmen on Fogo Island in Newfoundland.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Tomas Alonso's approach to design is "everything is there because it makes sense". This is obvious in his work which is minimal and functional. The green metal adds a bit of colour and zip.

Tags: Designers | Forestry | Furniture | London

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