In anticipation of the imminent open of Kleos on Westminster Street, we had a chance to learn more about their plans for custom furniture to fill the bright and airy dining room. Kleos will be working with the local wood-workers at Lorimer Studio to build custom booths, benches, and tables. Their dedication to craftsmanship and sustainability is admirable–and their hand crafted furnishings are beautiful. Read on to get an inside look at how their studio operates in this interview with founder, David Ellison.
What is your background, and how did you get into furniture design?
I have always had a passion for woodworking. I think it mostly came from my mother who trained as an architect but never actually worked in the field. We spent many great weekends visiting old houses throughout Scotland and England. I was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
My interest increased while attending Hammersmith Technical College, where I focused my studies on process and design.
Tell me a little about how you make your furniture. How do you source your materials?
We build our creations using classic and traditional methods, while incorporating contemporary design and form using mixed media of wood and metal. We only use domestic wood, sourcing as much as possible from local New England mills. Our salvaged wood comes through many local demolition teams and even national brokers.
Where is your studio? What is it like? How is it run?
Our studio is presently located just west of downtown Providence. Our 10,000 sq.ft facility houses our team of artisans. We do not use any large automated equipment. Instead, we rely on the handcrafted work of our talented team. Each artisan has their own work station, yet we function as a unit helping each other throughout the process.
Are you inspired by any specific themes? How is this found in your work?
I am particularly inspired by Japanese organic designers, coupled with a great love for the original handymen who created the highly practical farm style table. Our farm tables highlight the handcrafted look of the original farm tables. Our live edge tables exemplify the organic Japanese influences, with their strong natural look and flow.
How much collaboration is there with your clients? Could you use Kleos as an example?
We collaborate extensively with all our clients, as we are custom table-makers. From start to finish our customers are very much part of the process.
The owners of Kleos, for instance, visited our studios and while walking through their original plans, more ideas came to light. We are building their small tables and full-size community tables. In addition, we are working on a light fixture for a private dining area. As the conversation continued and the architectural plans were further reviewed it came to light that they also needed booths. A back and forth discussion ensued between the owners and our team, culminating in a potential design for booths and bench like seating.
All photos unless otherwise noted provided by Lorimer Studio