Si­mon Burvill

Co-founder Gaze Burvill (01420 588444; www.gaze­

Country Life Every Week - - Another Country -


Us­ing your hands gives you a con­nec­tion with the ma­te­rial; any­body us­ing ma­chines has to first feel the grain of the wood and un­der­stand how it will be­have. With­out that, the work that you then do on the ma­chines be­comes soul-less.

Craft ver­sus tech­nol­ogy

I think crafts­man­ship can be both com­ple­mented and un­der­mined by new tech­nol­ogy. Some tra­di­tional tech­niques will hope­fully be main­tained, but oth­ers will dis­ap­pear—it’s just evo­lu­tion. We’ve al­ways said that we’re not slaves to tra­di­tion: we re­spect it, but em­brace tech­nol­ogy, too. When you com­bine knowl­edge of the ma­te­rial with ma­chine know-how to pro­duce things that are very com­plex to repli­cate by hand, that’s the most pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion.

CNC ma­chines

We got our first CNC ma­chine six years ago. They al­low you to go from sketch to de­sign to screen and back again to tweak and fine-tune eas­ily, al­low­ing for a much greater free­dom of move­ment.


Of course, you still need peo­ple to come up with con­cepts and forms—my de­sign­ers still like to work in the iso­met­ric form, where there’s no per­spec­tive, to un­der­stand di­men­sions, for ex­am­ple. Us­ing CAD soft­ware means that you can draw in­tu­itively in 3D: you can add dis­tor­tions, twists and warps and the com­puter will be able to un­der­stand the tool paths needed to be fol­lowed to re­alise those forms.


It’s still the fastest way to con­vey con­cepts, but, as de­signs be­come more com­plex, it’s get­ting harder. You can only sketch one an­gle of a 3D ob­ject, af­ter all, and that’s where the com­puter helps—es­pe­cially when you can add ren­der­ing or life-like back­grounds to de­signs. Ad­di­tion­ally, as soon as the need for accuracy comes into play, you’re just wast­ing time: the days of us­ing rulers, com­passes and pro­trac­tors are pretty much over.

Be­low: Court seat, £3,480

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