Martin Harvey

Martin Harvey is a furniture designer and maker based in Monmouthshire, South Wales. In 1997 Martin graduated from the Royal College of art and returned home to Wales where he set up his first workshop, designing and making furniture to commission. Since then, Martin has worked for many reputable furniture makers in the UK and Australia, gaining a wealth of experience.

Furniture Maker

Martin Harvey

Wales

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THE PROCESS

Working primarily in wood, Martin produces handcrafted pieces which employ a combination of traditional and contemporary methods of construction with the aim to create practical, well-resolved and long lived products with aesthetic appeal.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

I am motivated by many things. The process of taking an idea from the page and turning it into a three dimensional object. The process of identifying and fulfilling a practical need. The process of problem solving. The process of learning and executing new skills and techniques. I love drawing, both traditionally and on the computer screen. I am happiest when surrounded by tools and machinery. The opportunity to explore and work with different materials. The feeling you get when someone says they like what you have created.

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

With regards to who, it seems that along my creative journey, there have been many unsung heroes in the background making things happen and this is where the greatest level of skill often lies. I have been inspired and influenced by many co-workers along my creative journey, some are designers, some are makers and some have been really good at organising things.

With regards to what, I am readily drawn to the arts and crafts period and all the amazing work that the designer crafts people of this era produced. I love looking back at arts and crafts houses and homewares, it always feels like there was an extra effort to make things sing. I believe that many of the ideals that underpin this movement reflect what myself and other independent designer makers are trying to do today. I aspire to ensure that these same qualities come through in my own work.

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

What I like most about the craft of designing and making furniture is the fact that you have to be able to adjust your approach for every new project that comes your way.

One project might be small and intricate, another could be big and more logistical. One day you could be working on your own, while the next you might be working alongside someone else or as part of a team. It is the challenge of this variety and the need to adapt that keeps the business of designing and making interesting. I believe it is always a good idea to keep an open mind and to explore possibilities or you might spend all your days doing the same old thing.

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

I have had many reasons to feel proud throughout my career. At the beginning, I was proud when I got into the Royal College of Art and later to realise my dream of living and working in Australia. I was proud to come home and eventually become a member of the Makers Guild in Wales. I am now proud to have been selected to put a range of furniture together for The New Craftsmen. Most of all I am proud of myself for maintaining the belief that I am good enough and for still trying to succeed in a craft, where it is increasingly difficult to find success.

5. What is your dream project?

My dream project would be to one day design and make the Bardic Chair. The chairing of the bard is considered to be one of the most important ceremonies in the Welsh Eisteddfod tradition honouring the best Welsh poet. Every year a specially commissioned chair is awarded to the winner, with great cultural significance. I believe that the opportunity to design and make the Bardic Chair would be the greatest honour for a Welsh furniture maker.

ALL PRODUCTS

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3 Products found

  1. Flower Cabinet by Martin Harvey
    Flower Cabinet
    Martin Harvey
    £14,990
  2. Flower Mirror by Martin Harvey
    Flower Mirror
    Martin Harvey
    £3,240
  3. Flower Side Table by Martin Harvey
    Flower Side Table
    Martin Harvey
    £2,400
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3 Products found