18 July 2020
The art of understanding material, process and patience.
Furniture desiger and maker Ross Thompson has an innate love for working with timer and with his hands, read his journey.
Having started an apprenticship in furniture making but becoming a little uninspired during the process, at 20 years of age Ross packed his bags and went travelling.
“Travelling to Denmark and Vienna, looking at the architecture and the furniture, I realized that there was actually a career in furniture making. People really can express themselves through their furniture and through their work, whereas before, I had always thought of it as quite a pragmatic career.” Upon returning from overseas, he finished his studies in furniture making and also completed a degree in music before settling on starting his own business.
How Ross’ passion for music influences his work with timber is evident in each piece he makes, furthemore by the way he decribes working with the natural material. Every detail is creafted in a way more commonly seen in classical or vintage pieces, before the advent machines and the assembly line during the industrial revolution. “The properties of timber are so unique. It’s very valuable when you know how to use it properly. It’s such a beautiful, natural product that can’t be replicated at all. Working with the timber, and the timber working with you back in all little ways. It’s a two-way conversation,” says Ross.
To Ross, the process of furniture making has many parallels with music. “I enjoy a lot of classical music. If you strip things back, in a lot of ways it comes down to rhythm and harmony, and how you combine those two elements in a space. Furniture is all about rhythm, harmony and empty space. When you look at a piece, it’s the negative space that surrounds it or that you incorporate into the design, or the way the timber works with the design, there’s definitely an inherent harmony in that. Also, the rhythmic capabilities of the way you organize a form of a work, the lines or the proportions of a piece can either create a very kinetic or dynamic rhythm or something that is more subtle. That’s exactly the same in music. If you strip a composition back, you can see which parts combine together, which parts are working well with each other. You can also see the quietness and the contrast between soft and loud, emptiness and chaos.”
Three years on and the business is expanding in the way Ross would like. He’s taking his time making crafted pieces of furniture that are made with patience, understanding and resepect for the material of timber. Each piece patiently designed and made to be cherished.
Tess Kelly Photography
Tess Kelly Photography