I sat down with full time engineer, part time furniture designer Pete to ask him how he got into designing and making furniture and his favourite parts of the job.
BertyB is no stranger to Pete's designs having modelled some of our new lampshades on his sleek tripod lamps. We loved the simplicity of his designs so much that we used them on our recent homepage photography, to give a modern yet retro feel to our new Palm Springs collection.
1.Tell us about yourself and how you got into furniture design?
I got into furniture design when I was getting ready to move out of my parent’s house and into an unfurnished flat. I didn’t have any furniture at this point, but once I had paid the deposit and started looking at furniture, I got a real shock at the price. I thought surely the material couldn’t be that expensive, so decided to start making my furniture instead. That’s how it all started. I should note that I have a very helpful father who has a workshop with a plethora of different wood and metal working tools, which does help a lot.
2.How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is sustainable. I try and source materials as sustainably as possible. I love to scour Gumtree and Freecycle for materials and bargains, as well as small lumberyards, which offer scraps and seconds.
3.What comes first – the materials or the design idea?
For me it’s the material that comes first as it’s usually what I have already sourced. Otherwise the design comes from an idea of what material I would like to work with and this sets out the whole design. Unless it’s a request from friends or family that is.
4.What part of creating is more important for you: The idea, the process, or the outcome?
For me the furniture design work I do is during my time off from my career and therefore I really enjoy all parts of the process. While in Glasgow I look for ideas, inspiration and materials. Then at the weekends I get to build and develop my designs and see them completed… if everything goes to plan. There are also times where I have had to make jigs or forms to facilitate the process.
5.What was last piece of home ware/furniture you bought?
The last piece of home ware I purchased was a sofa to replace a second hand one I got when I moved into my flat but had since become too small for function. However I would love to get to the point where I don’t need to buy furniture but instead just make it. Other than the sofa, I would have to say some cracking BertyB shades I got for my own lamps!
6.What's your favourite piece from your collection and why?
My favourite pieces I have made are probably the reclaimed pew wood ladder shoe rack and my pew wood chest of drawers, which I made for my girlfriend. They were the second and seventh major pieces I made and I’m still really happy with the design. Another aspect of the two pieces I love is that they are both made from the same material and from the same source making them almost siblings. This isn’t the first time I have done this, I also have made coffee tables from the same slab of oak. These tables are owned by BertyB, Winston and myself, which I think is really cool.
Pete's pieces are all bespoke made and no two are the same.
A selection of his work is available to buy at the HuggeHut.