Robert Scott is our Supplier Of The Week, 2 – 8 May 2016.
Robert is a master-craftsman, creating unique and highly detailed sculptures from wood. He has been selected by the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design and is currently exhibiting with them at Craft Central, Clerkenwell.
We had a quick-fire interview with Robert to find out more.
You were previously an aircraft fitter. How and why did you get into designing and making furniture?
My favourite subject at school was design tech – resistant materials. There were many projects where we got to design and make things out of wood, using basic hand tools, and I took to it straight away. I started making things at home after school and at weekends for friends and for myself. This all stopped when I started my apprenticeship at BAE Systems and began my training as an aircraft fitter. My time there was brilliant and I developed many more skills, honing my eye for detail at the same time. It was a great job with good future prospects, but it didn’t give me the chance to be creative. After leaving I decided to travel for a few years, visiting some amazing places with natural beauty and inspirational people. I had always wanted to get back into woodwork so when I got back and found the furniture making course at Leeds College of Art I knew I had to do it. My initial idea was to become a teacher in woodwork but when I discovered the work of Wendell Castle it all changed. His work inspired me to design and make something quite artistic and sculptural. It was a decision that has set me on course to where I am now.
What inspires your unique designs?
I get most of my inspiration from nature and the shapes created in the landscape by naturally occurring processes such as erosion.
What does a typical day look like in your workshop?
A typical day will consist of me kitted out with a dust mask, face mask and ear defenders, switching between carving with an angle grinder and shaping with rasps and chisels. It’s a very dusty and laborious job but it’s got to be done!
Why wood over any other material?
Wood is a beautiful material to work with. Each piece of wood is unique and is a piece of art in its own right. It’s also a satisfying material to work and very versatile. It is also the material I have developed the deepest knowledge of so I’m playing to my strengths at this stage of my career. I also have a passion for making in metal, so, although all my work is made out of wood at the moment, it won’t be long until I begin to incorporate metal work into my projects.
Finally, why does design matter to you?
Design influences everyday life. It is all around us and is part of every daily task that we do. My goal in design is to produce something that is both unique and beautiful to the eye and to the touch, whilst also fulfilling its role as a functional piece of furniture.