I am a 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 solid timber, timber veneer, plywood and stainless steel, creating high quality, precious furniture pieces. My focus is on designing furniture with local timber species from Australia and Finland to harness the beauty of the timbers.
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 Yrjö 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 me to develop sustainable manufacturing methods, although we didn’t call it that back then! I use craft based methods of manufacture combined with simplicity in form to enhance longevity in the furniture piece. You will also see my small objects and art pieces made from the offcuts I keep from the furniture production.
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 concepts and the big-picture, complementing my practice-based knowledge of materials and processes. I work creatively with music, art and nature as constant companions for inspiration, and my art objects often reference urban life through nature’s perspective. 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, beauty 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.