I am a Brisbane based furniture designer, furniture maker and craftsman. I have spent my 40 year career working in Australia and Finland and now divide my time between Brisbane and the artisan village of Fiskars in Finland. I work with many materials including timber, timber veneer, plywood and stainless steel, creating high quality, precious furniture pieces. My focus is on local timber species to develop furniture pieces which bridge the gap between craft and contemporary design, which are relevant to both Finnish and sub-tropical Queensland architecture.
Having a tradition of design and craft, which began as a teenager in my father’s furniture company in Finland, I have been acutely aware of the importance of a sustainable material culture. In Finland I grew up with great design all around me, where the works of Alvar Aalto and Yrjo Kukkapuro were a constant part of my surroundings: where good quality and traditional craft were appreciated alongside good design, and where I learned to aspire to a high level of craftsmanship. This early design saturation continued to inspire my career to develop sustainable manufacturing methods (although we didn’t call it that back then!). I use high quality, craft based methods of manufacture combined with simplicity in form to enhance an items longevity, and I keep all my offcuts for making art objects.
Much of my work has been the design and manufacture of contemporary furniture and objects for our family company Deka, where I collaborate closely with my wife Helena and daughter Nora. We work well as a team, with Helena’s expertise in design, textiles, pattern making and sewing, and Nora’s in design, form and concepts, complementing my hands-on knowledge of materials and processes.
I work in a creative space, with music, art, nature and most recently film-making as constant companions for inspiration. My art objects often reference urban life through nature’s perspective, and are developed from the sounds and forms found all around us. Whether its a large project or a one-off custom commission, my passion is the tradition of furniture making, working closely with materials, and creating items of purpose and longevity.
In 2006 I was awarded the Design Institute of Australia’s Smart State Designer of the Year. I am a member of Onoma – the Cooperative of Artisans, Designers and Artists In Fiskars, Finland.