Have you ever found yourself admiring a piece of art, transfixed by the inexplicable way it draws you in?
There are times when one comes upon a maker’s work & stands in awe; surprised by the inability to explain exactly why this particular artist’s work is so distinct among all the rest. Is it the subtly honed details? The discriminating use of wood grain, perfect in its proportion & scale? Or merely the integrity with which it was created?
This is often how the work of furniture maker Nicholas Purcell is regarded.
Considered by many as one of Vancouver’s most gifted furniture designer/makers, Nicholas is above all else, an artist. This is the lens through which he sees the world & approaches his work & how he has defined his life. Believing there is intrinsic value in ’good design’ & ’the handmade object’, Nicholas practices to the highest level of craftsmanship.
Nicholas’ early training in graphic design has informed his work for nearly 40 years and proved invaluable during his UK apprenticeship with renowned master furniture maker David Charlesworth. And while his work may be exceptional it is also accessible, producing both bespoke designs for clients as well as spec pieces for exhibitions and galleries.
My desire as a maker is to produce custom one-of-a-kind furniture that requires a skilled hand, is extraordinary and which holds within it artistic value. It is challenging and rewarding to create work of this caliber, work which displays the beauty and richness of the materials and satisfies both the design and functional requirements of a piece.
I am also an artist and a perfectionist, and occasionally a realist, who is constantly pursuing new ideas and conceptualizing pieces which are more design-driven and do not require the complex techniques of making. And therein lies the struggle, the ever-present need to find balance and to continue bringing these ideas to fruition with as much integrity as possible.