King + Webbon design and make modern and contemporary furniture using materials that have been carefully selected among a palette of natural hardwoods for warmth and durability. We had a mini Q+A to get to know a bit more about their making, process and passion for materials...
What's your journey been?
I grew up with a carpenter dad and a passion for skateboarding which is all about expressing your own style. I loved art and design at school, but ended becoming an Engineering Geologist with a degree in Geology. I’ve always had an underlying desire to do something tangible - skateboarding is all about expressing yourself and combined with exposure to woodwork through my dad, I did an intensive furniture making course then established King and Webbon in 2017. Running your own business is ridiculously challenging in so many ways and I work twice as hard, but I’ve never experienced loving what I do until this!
You make everything from kitchens to bespoke furniture, how has your work evolved?
Initially my focus was on solid hardwood furniture with discrete details and pops of colour. As I’ve developed my design style, I'm always on the lookout for innovative materials I can add to complement the warmth and beauty of natural hardwoods. I’m increasingly drawn to simple unfussy designs with accents of materials, textures and colour to create impact. Whether it’s an interior scheme, a single piece of furniture or even better, a combination of both, there’s always an opportunity to add cool details that make all the difference. As my projects and confidence grow, I feel like I could tackle almost any project that aligns with my design style.
What have you been up to throughout lockdown? Has it changed anything for you?
Fortunately I’ve been able to more or less continue as normal through lockdown - if anything I’ve been busier as it seems people have been investing in their homes. I've also renovated and moved into my own home throughout lockdown, so it's been exciting to make lots of things for myself. And I have loads of ideas for new pieces I want to develop, plus some exciting collaborations, just need more hours in the day!
In future I have visions of developing King and Webbon into a stand alone furniture brand, perhaps under a new name (watch this space), while continuing to do some bespoke work for private clients.
Bristol is such a creative community, don't you think?
Bristol is a hotbed of makers, brewers and skaters - all good in my book! It's amazing how many furniture makers are based in and around here, and what a great bunch they all are. It's been awesome to build up a furniture making network here to share advice.
Whose work do you admire?
Always been a big admirer of fellow material enthusiast Jonathan Pang Furniture, plus love the work of another Scottish maker, Namon Gaston. Both of their designing and making is super clean, crisp and minimal, with just the right level of detail. Further afield, I love the work of Australian makers Nathan Day Design and Made by Morgan. Danish architect and furniture designer Finn Juhl and British design icon Robin Day are real sources of inspiration for me.
Anyone you'd love to collaborate with?
I’d really like to collaborate with a fashion brand like Nudie on some freestanding furniture, and it would be incredible to collaborate with a skate brand like Vans on some Skate-Inspired pieces (have some in mind!)
Do you approach designing furniture vs interior projects differently?
I like to make fitted interiors look like freestanding pieces - it gives a real sense of space when fitted furniture is raised on legs, or suspended letting you see through or under. I like to tease every ounce of space out of interior projects to maximise storage and make them a joy to use.
Talk about materials - what's your favourite? Do designs inform material choices or vice versa?
Wood is number one with Ash, Beech, Oak and Cherry at the top of the list, but really keen to use Douglas Fir soon. Following timber, Richlite and Durat are close runners up, so it's awesome to combine them in different ways. I tend to design the form of something first with a wooden frame or carcass, then think about areas where materials can be added to components such as doors, panels, seats, and slats. For a kitchen, Durat way out performs wood for something like worktops, so function often informs material choice too.
The skate lab stools are quite cool, where'd the idea come from?
I started skating when I was 8 and was a die-hard skater until about 25. At the ripe age of 43, I still love to skate but it's a more mellow affair these days! I love the idea of bringing skate-inspired features and culture into furniture, whether its materials like Skatelite, coloured bolts, or art. Skatelite is such a great material - tactile, strong, machines really well, and I love that Richlite has an amazing crossover culture in its use.
Any cool projects in the works?
I have a collaboration in the pipeline with an incredible tattoo artist, but that’s top secret at the moment!!