Part of our ‘Meet the Resident Makers’ series
My name is Luke Harding and I design and make furniture under my company name ‘MOS Bespoke Furniture’. I trained as a cabinet maker and have been doing just that for the last 12 years for one simple reason – im obsessed with furniture!
I can witter on about woodwork for far longer than anyone wants to listen so we’ll see how long this text goes on for….
I remember getting my first woodwork tools when I was a child, maybe about 8-9 years old. I’m not talking about ‘toy tools’ here: They were proper ‘miniature tools. I had a ‘proper saw’ – capable of cutting wood, and a ‘proper hammer’ – capable of driving in a nail etc. etc. And they all had wooden handles painted in blue paint (my brother had a matching red set). I would ask my parents to buy me a little pack of multiple sized bits of balsa wood every time we went to the market and then make ‘amazing things’ on the garden bench. This probably meant I made odd little lumps of glued and nailed together lengths of timber, but I loved it.
The next major woodwork memory I have came at about 14 years old when a neighbour, who was a retired joiner himself, lent me some of his old woodwork books from his college days, and explained for the first time to me about ‘woodwork joints’ – by which I mean ‘Mortice and Tennon’s’ and ‘Dovetails’ etc. I.e. joining wood together in traditional ways as oppose to the nailing or screwing the young me was currently doing. I remember this being a complete revelation to me and suddenly my mind was racing with new woodwork possibilities. This has pretty much been my state of mind ever since – if I have a spare moment ill sit there, stare into space, and design furniture in my head! The neighbour later gave me these old leather bound woodwork encyclopaedia’s when I was in my 20’s, they now sit proudly on the first piece of furniture (a bookcase) I ever made under the name ‘MOS Bespoke Furniture’
Anyway, that’s enough of the trip down memory lane – I am immensely excited about the opening of ‘The Makers Mill’. My workshop/studio here is by far the nicest set up I have ever had and I can’t wait to make some beautiful furniture in it. It’s going to be a great experience to work within a building that is so full of talented makers and their work, where we can bounce ideas and opinions off each other.
I like to use local native timber in my designs and always like to work some bright colour into my work when possible (or the client lets me). I think it contrasts and brings out the richness of the timbers grain. The vast majority of my furniture is one off pieces made by commission, direct for private clients. I like the process of working with customers from initial meeting and design ideas, all the way through to delivering a finished item of furniture to them.