Edward Collinson

Edward Collinson started his career in painting and sculpture, before opening his North London furniture studio in 2015. Having developed a fascination with making things at an early age – building his first shed from scratch at the age of 7 – Edward is passionate about creating quality, refined pieces for the home, designed to be modern heirlooms. The raw materiality and timelessness of his wooden pieces in particular, are inspired by his childhood spent in the idyllic Yorkshire countryside.

Furniture Maker

Edward Collinson

London

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THE PROCESS

Edward works mainly with wood, including oak felled from the land he grew up on, due to the ‘human-like’ quality of the material; unique and warm to the touch. His work is often inspired by the natural materials and colours he encounters on his travels, and only uses samples from places he has visited. Many of the production techniques Edward uses were developed during the 20th century in Denmark and elsewhere across Europe. This is an important underlying influence on his work and informs much of the design process.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

I think growing up without access to consumer goods made me resourceful and impelled me to make things as a kid. I grew up pretty isolated in the countryside and we tended to make things instead of buy them. I attempted to make most kids toys at some point in my childhood; sledges, carts, bikes, hand gliders (there was a local gliding school). I think that has stuck with me as a resolution, even now, living in a consumer capital of the world. It’s also made me very conscious of the things I do buy for myself. The products I buy have to be made well, made with attention, thought, quality, integrity and narrative.

2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

I take a lot of wide-ranging influence from historic styles; both furniture and architectural. Proportions and shapes of pieces like the Vault tables are directly related to historic designs, but with other pieces it's more subtle. I’m also influenced by material qualities and simple colour combinations. Of course, modern Danish furniture design plays a big part too. Many of the production techniques I use now were developed during the 20th century in Denmark and Europe. This is an important underlying influence – technique informs so many design outcomes.

3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?

I often dip in and out of a lot of different things across a day. Speed is a good way to sort of forget what you’re doing and let your hands go for a walk. I also like to surround myself with samples and materials.

There’s a space in the studio for prototype parts, which I keep separate from the material samples. These shelves are populated with fragments of furniture pieces; the corner of a seat detail, a chair back’s surface treatment, a particular joint, some models, etc. I’m hoping that eventually complete pieces will naturally coalesce from these fragments.

4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

It's great when an idea comes together but my proudest achievement has to be keeping a workshop and studio open, and supporting the people who work with me. After being a maker, it’s the most gratifying thing – growing a business that helps others to develop their skills and progress as makers too. It’s really hard to find people who you can work with intensely everyday and as a really small business, in a tough industry, it's important that I find those people. Good businesses are made with good people.

5. What is your dream project?

The dream project is something which leads to a good idea. The dream project has space to grow new ideas and make something unique. The dream project has time and space. The dream project has lots of freedom but definite boundaries. It has good light. It has scale. It has colour. It has large amounts of natural materials. These are the most important ingredients for a large project. The dream project leads to other projects. The dream project has surplus ideas, which end up in the next one. The dream project is deeply rooted. The dream project is far reaching. The dream project brings fragments of works together into a whole. The dream project starts very soon.

To find out more about commissioning Edward Collinson for a bespoke piece or to be kept informed about new collections from this particular maker, please email [email protected]

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