‘I moved around the country working in various places until I hit 30 and realised I had no other life. The hours were unsociable and very long and I just wanted to get back to making things,’ he says. ‘He often works well into the small hours, sometimes round the clock, to complete pieces which are so absorbing he can’t bear to walk away from them’ Around the same time he met and married his wife Andrea, an interior designer for Mamas and Papas. She encouraged him to enrol on a degree course in cabinet making at Leeds College of Art. ‘It was awesome fun,’ he says. ‘A full-on course but I learned so much. I got a first, which was brilliant, but by this time I was completely broke, so I went back to the kitchens in order to save up enough money to start furniture making full-time.’ This was two years ago under the name The Furniturist (thefurniturist.co.uk) a title created after bouncing ideas around with friends in the pub. There was no great business plan, just an innate passion to create fabulous one-offs. If they sold it would be a bonus. ‘I wanted to make pretty things that were different to anything else you would find,’ he says. ‘Ideas were spinning around in my head and I couldn’t wait to make them. My style cues are atomic age, diners, streamliners, hotrods and rockabilly; the old This Dark Water design is made from reclaimed oak and pallet boards also taking commissions and getting his work displayed in the Gallery at Slaithwaite and the Red House Gallery in Harrogate. ‘I am very disciplined,’ he says. ‘I am happy to carry on working through the night to get a piece finished. I have the entire basement of our ‘up and under’ house as a workshop so I’ve plenty of space for my workbench and storage for all the wood, which includes beech, birch and oak. I can work round the clock if necessary without disturbing Andrea.’ And when he does sleep, it is usually with a notebook and pen by the bedside so that if he wakes up in the middle of the night with his mind buzzing with ideas, he can jot them down before they disappear. As a result of his 50s-inspired imagination, no two pieces are the same and his pricing reflects the bespoke nature of his work. But it is still early days for Nick. ‘My long term aim is to have my own gallery, but that’s quite a way down the road,’ he says. ‘For now I’m just making the most of doing something I am totally passionate about.’ Route 66 and that cool backdrop for punk and grunge music, videos and art house films. It’s a nod to the past, not an homage, and I’m taking those cues to create futuristic designs. I think of it as ‘sequinned ballroom glamour in a derelict mill’. It’s a style that seems to be emerging of its own accord, based on strong themes and unusually shaped legs. I love legs.’ Before long he was not only selling his signature pieces but Got it made foam made it easier than ever to create cushions, sofas and furniture on a large industrial scale. The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is one of the most recognizable designer pieces from the 1950s, designed by husband and wife couple Charles and Ray Eames. Colorful dining sets took their cue from American diners with Formica countertops and matching vinyl and chrome chairs. Despite its emergence in the late 1940s, mid century modern furniture remains timeless and chic. Based on a blend of decades worth of design, it features steel, wood and leather, along with design details of tapered legs, geometric forms, and clean edges New materials were invented, too. Instead of cushions stuffed with straw or horsehair, the invention of cheap and shapeable polyurethane N 140 Yorkshire Life: October 2020
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