What do you make?
I make various types of furniture and occasionally both larger wooden things and smaller wooden things. For the most part, the furniture is for sitting on, individual and made of local wood.
Could you describe your studio to us? What is your favourite thing about the space
and how do you get into the mindset of making?
I worked outdoors on trestles for about two years before I built my workshop. When it rained I'd put the tools away. I wanted to make the workshop I had imagined. I knew if I cobbled something together temporarily I wouldn't ever get around to building it. So I also spent that time gleaning materials. Thankfully the only thing I ended up actually buying off the shelf was some steel RSJ's for the uprights, some clear roof panels, and the electrics. It was difficult to complete but I’m glad I did it that way.
I love the fact that it is right next to where I live and so accessible. It is often quite disorganised and crammed full of all sorts. Too much usually. I am always working on improving and changing it. When I do a Big Tidy (about once a month) I get a real creative rush to mess it up again.
What is your favourite tool and why? Where do they come from?
I do like Japanese carpentry tools. A few years ago, after a three-day workshop, the Japanese saw sharpener Nagakatsu gave me a Nokogiri saw he had tuned and sharpened. It was new but made from steel he had procured from a batch of blades made in 1950's. A real humdinger. I was not/am not worthy.
Can you describe the making process and inspiration behind your stools?
For me, it usually starts with the materials and the story behind them. Even if
it is not apparent in the finished piece it is the part of the process that interests me most.
What led you to choosing this craft as a profession? What do you love most about it?
I was always interested in making things and seeing how they are made. I didn't
consciously decide to make it a profession but just kept doing it I suppose. Now though I only do it for the money.
You can purchase James' Sycamore Stools both online and from our Drury street location.