Katie Walker

Founder, Katie Walker Fur­ni­ture (07747 615323; www.katiewalk­er­fur­ni­ture.com)

Country Life Every Week - - Another Country -

Crafts­man­ship

A piece made by hand has a bit of the maker in it and is more ex­pres­sive; items made by ma­chine aren’t worse—they just have a dif­fer­ent soul to them.

Craft ver­sus tech­nol­ogy

Tra­di­tional tech­niques are def­i­nitely com­ple­mented by dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. I’ve re­cently de­signed a range of out­door fur­ni­ture with dove­tail joints that wouldn’t be prac­ti­cal to cut by hand—they would take too long. How­ever, it’s still im­por­tant that you ex­pe­ri­ence the ma­te­ri­als by hand to un­der­stand how they’re go­ing to per­form.

CNC ma­chines

It’s not about mim­ick­ing the crafts­man, but more about be­ing able to do some­thing much more quickly so that you can pro­duce small batches of highly com­plex forms and pieces that once would only have been com­mer­cially vi­able by pro­duc­ing them some­where over­seas with lower labour costs.

CAD

I re­sisted this for a long time be­cause I was adamant that I needed to be in the work­shop work­ing things out as I went along, but CAD gives so much free­dom—when you can re­alise some­thing in 3D and ex­am­ine the dif­fer­ent an­gles on the screen, it feels like fly­ing. Rather than be­ing a re­straint, it gives tremen­dous free­dom to be more cre­ative.

Draw­ing

Sketch­ing on pa­per re­mains an in­valu­able way to vi­su­alise an ini­tial idea. If you’ve got an ini­tial de­sign con­cept that you want to pur­sue, but aren’t sure of the way to go, you can sketch and sketch un­til it be­comes clearer. At that point, you can move onto the com­puter and test its lim­i­ta­tions.

Be­low: Rib­bon rock­ing chair, £5,600

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