I am a total sucker for a large dining table with a difference so it gives me great pleasure to introduce you today to up and coming kiwi designer Will Worsp and the ridiculously cool works that he is producing.
Tell us what you do and how you got into it?
I design and build furniture from formed and repurposed materials, I also work in interior design. I have always had a fascination with furniture and built my first table from reclaimed kauri 4 years ago for the bach in Raglan. My first effort resulted in a flurry of orders. With the will and the skill but lack of a formal workshop I managed to complete the orders in the woolshed with equipment russelled up from toolboxes around the sheds. A few sold quickly in one of Ponsonby’s top design stores. I then returned to my job in London as a project manager for interior fitouts of restaurants, shops and offices.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up on a farm in the Waikato and went off to boarding school in Auckland before heading off to study at art school in Dunedin. After 4 years at uni I went onto Sydney for a year to work in the film industry which was hard to crack into. I then moved to Auckland and worked for 3 years on various films and TVCs in the Production and Art departments as a set dresser and buyer. I then had itchy feet for travel and flew to Mallorca, Spain to take on the yachts as an avenue to explore the world. Six weeks later this opportunity opened up on a yacht that did exactly that i spent a year and a half traveling the world on M/Y Apoise to Spain, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Sweden, Demark, Greenland, Alaska, Cuba, Gallapagos, Panama, Maldives, Egypt, and the Caribbean islands just to name a few…. 48 countries later I thought I better go to London and get a real job…. I spent 1 year in London as a site manager and project manager on various projects for companies such as GAP, H&M, and Selfridges. This was a fantastic learning curve and just the work I needed to show how it worked here in the big cities. After completing a 85hr work week I was very tempted to slide back to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. London was a great city but wasn’t quite the same as chucking Cameron Diaz on a jet ski in St Tropez… This all became a reality when the retail sector took a hard turn and I lost my job along with many other project managers at the time, I got an email from a former captain to pop down and help out on a yacht in France, so I did… not before a quick trip to India for a little inspiration.
This then led to another fantastic year working on a yacht around Greece and Turkey. All this time at sea and weekends sifting around the stunning cities of Europe it was a great help to my design reference folder and research development progress, long days spent roaming the streets of Madrid, Florence, Paris, Marseille, Milan, Monaco and Barcelona. With a great urge to get back to the land where you don’t have to line up or wait for a car park and can motorbike down to the beach and fetch some mussels and catch a feed of fresh snapper, I then started WRW & Co.
What inspires you when creating a new piece?
My inspiration is fuelled by a deep appreciation of craftsmen before me whose skilled hands and sometimes simple tools created buildings and furniture which have survived many decades not only environmentally but also aesthetically where pragmatism and style come together in a perfect balance.
The enjoyment in creating something unique with it’s own story and character, being able to see the historical scars in the timber, and the excitement on the clients face when I’ve delivered a table and talking through the construction process with them. I enjoy working with old bits of timber and being able to give them a new lease of life in a contemporary way.
How much time does it take from start to finish?
It all depends on the scale of the project and the specification from the client. steel frames always take a little longer and with repurposed materials you always have a few imperfections that pop up and test you but the imperfections can be the making of a piece of furniture, so that’s always an exciting part of the building process. it’s always harder working with reclaimed ,imperfect pieces, but then I quite like imperfections. It’s usually about two to three weeks for a large dinning table.
Where and how can we buy your pieces?
I have a facebook page www.facebook.com/wrwco which you can view my pieces and can inquire through that or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website coming soon. WRW & Co. A lot of my work lately has been commissioned pieces direct to clientele including individuals and café’s. I have a constant flow of new designs and work out of Auckland and Raglan at the moment; I will have furniture on display in a workshop close to Birkenhead shops.
What Internet sites do you read for inspiration?
Oh that’s like a cook giving away their secret recipes! Thefancy, Pinterest, Denizen, The Coolhunter, Habitually chic, The content doctor, dusty deco, lots of blogs – the design chaser, the design files, all things stylish, design milk.
If we were visiting you in your hometown of Raglan, what should we do there?
Probably go for a surf, It is one of the best left hand breaks in the world!! Take a seat at the shack café and enjoy the amazing breakfast menu and coffee. Go for a paddleboard in the hope of timing it right with the Orca whales coming into the harbour and feeding on the stingrays. Climb Mt Karioi
What are you looking forward to in 2013
Through the collaboration of creative minds and research I hope to continue to put smiles on peoples faces by creating some real gems but also having time to step out away from the norm and experiment with pieces that are still practical and functional.
Making the most of what our beautiful country has to offer. Being overseas for so long and coming from a farm you miss all the cool things we have here in our backyard, such as getting down to our local wild West coast beach, grabbing some mussels, cooking them on a drift wood fire with friends and a beer and maybe the odd wild pig or two.
Be sure to pop over and check out Wills facebook page to keep up to date with the WRW & Co going ons.