What drives your design? “I love reusing stuff but try to resist the label ‘upcycling’. It’s a trendy description but, for me, it is that I just don’t like stuff going in the bin when it still has a beauty to it.
“For example, I am working with some simple pine pallets and the wood is such a cracking material. Oak wine barrels or other timber crates are interesting, too, especially those with stamps from famous chateaux. They continue their story in something totally new.”
Tell us how you transformed a wine barrel into a dog’s bed. “It was something of an experiment. My wife is in the wine business and one of her clients sent me a couple of barrels. The oak is very beautiful. I cut it in half, dried it out and after shaping it, applied a natural lacquer. We have a dog and I liked the idea of an unusual bed for him.”
What furnishings have you made? “I’ve made a six-seater dining table for a 320 sq ft Hong Kong apartment using American fine wine-stamped boxes to create a surface, adding an epoxy resin top, so you can still see the texture of the wood. When it is not in use, it hangs on the wall as an artwork, making the most of the tight space.
“The legs of the table are two small bookshelving units on wheels. I made them in steel coated with lacquer. I’ve also made a bathroom cabinet for a small space. I projected the mirror from the wall to add enough depth to store cosmetics, toothbrushes and toothpaste, which eliminates clutter at the sink.”
What other design projects have you undertaken in Hong Kong? “I’ve custom designed several window displays using timber that would normally have been disposed of. For a wine shop, I made a mobile unit usable in trade shows. I’ve created storage units from pallets that had been used for a food bank. It reflects their sustainable ethos. More recently, I made a lamp from a bronze marine diesel engine filter. They have a beautiful patina to them.”
What part of the creative process do you enjoy the most? “I like to experiment with transforming stuff from its original purpose into things you won’t see at most stores. I recently completed a two-metre-wide metal mirror for a penthouse home in Hong Kong. The client wanted shards of mirror placed around a picture of the Mona Lisa, so I created a bespoke metal frame to support each piece on an angled plane that imitates movement of broken glass.”