I make furniture with uncompromising quality and refined craftsmanship, with particular focus on hand and tool. I create understated work with restrained detailing, that shows off the natural beauty of native wood and an honest integrity in making. 

I am interested in the interplay between function and form. How a decision on a simple curve or chisel-worked edge impacts on the feeling of a piece. My work is intended to sit in harmony within a room, adding to the overall feel, and yet having a depth of detail that fascinates and gives pleasure as it is used. 

I work exclusively with British timbers. I hand select wood, often knowing the location of each tree used. Bog oak features in a lot of my work, I am fascinated by the change in tone and density of the material as it has aged. I love the idea that a piece of furniture in your home can reflect the material of the landscape around you. 

A large part of my work is inspired by the idea of journey. Working with wood, I am fascinated with the change in material through time and designing a piece that will develop throughout its life. I aim to create pieces which continue to spark interest and curiosity, either in the technical accomplishment or in a particular detail. 

Learning and developing my skills as a craftsman and designer is part of my journey and I continue to explore themes around hand-shaped curved edges, weaving, chip carving and the use of end grain.

I am enthusiastic about collaboration across craft disciples, and throughout my practice I have developed relationships with other makers. I find creative partnerships greatly motivating; they challenge the design process and our established practices. Incorporating different approaches into a piece, can lead to surprising results. Collaborations include work with potter Chris Keenan, weaver Emily Mackey and metal artist Rebecca Gouldson. 

Technical Notes 

Fine woodwork is technically demanding, it requires a broad knowledge of material and how a vast array of tools can be used to create the desired form, the skill is choosing the right tool to give the best possible result. I often make or refine tools to hone a particular effect or detail. 

Joints are typically cut by hand, components hand-planed down to thickness and veneer made in-house. Careful consideration is paid to movement and longevity of a piece, it should be able to move with the seasons, hold true in form and last. I work with the characteristics and pattern of wood to achieve the best possible flow within a piece, it should be harmonious. 

I finish with natural oils and waxes and apply decorative finishes and patination in-house.

Why Petrel?
A petrel is a small seabird. They are well known to fisherman as they can sometimes be found following in the wake of boats. In maritime history, petrels were often associated with bad weather.

I was struck by this species of little bird, which spends the vast majority of its time over water and can ride out gales and weather storms. Just imagine all that they must see on their journeys over the seas…

In many ways I saw a similarity between the perilous journey of a small bird weathering storms to reach safe harbour and starting out in a second career. Creating fine furniture is a demanding journey, it is hard work, but the joy in seeing a finished piece sitting proudly in its new home makes it all worthwhile. 

Matthew Paré - Petrel Furniture

Matthew Paré - Petrel Furniture

 

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