Founder, Linley (020–7730 7300; www.davidlinley.com)
I was trained as a hand maker. It’s a slow process, but, because of that slowness, there’s a maturity to the design and a more philosophical approach to which tool you use. It’s this experience that builds up knowledge and gives you more confidence to design.
Craft versus technology
It’s a bit like a gin and tonic: you can’t have one without the other. I’m a magpie and have always been very interested in new processes—we were among the first in the luxury sector to use websites to sell our products, for example. The curious thing about this is that, if something is machine-made straight, it’s not as emotionally beautiful as if it were made by hand and might have a wrinkle in it.
Our Savile furniture collection is largely made by machine. There are definite benefits—particularly as it cuts down the making time dramatically, so, for certain markets, it makes sense.
We’ve been exploring and using this for many years and it’s particularly helpful when it comes to both looking around an object or placing it in a photograph of an empty room to see the scale and proportion and understand how the light will fall from a window.
I’m a huge fan of The Prince of Wales’s drawing school and support anything that encourages designing by hand. Drawing offers such an emotional release: if you spend just two minutes doing a drawing, your brain talks to you in a different way.
Below: Vortex cabinet, £65,000