Victoria Guthrie speaks to Terry Croucher of Storm Furniture about his latest collection.
Hidden away surrounded by wild meadows and the beautiful Suffolk countryside you will find Terry Croucher, a trained joiner with a passion for contemporary design and economical production.
From his workshop in Bramfield Terry creates visually stunning ranges of home lighting and furniture products. Each item is handmade to order using a combination of both traditional and modern techniques and is finished to perfection.
The Suffolk countryside has a large influence on the design of Terry’s products and also in the way in which he chooses to work. Terry explains: ‘I am very fortunate to have a beautiful eco-friendly workshop up in the hills where there use to be an old castle. The land is stunning and the landscaping is perfect, giving a magical experience when walking around with my dog. I pick up all sorts of ideas from the natural beauty that I find.’
The Artisan Collection is Terry’s most recent work. This range of handcrafted lamps made using only the finest FSC approved materials has been incredibly popular and a growing number of interior designers and retailers are offering them to their customers. ‘The egg rack is becoming popular for its quirky design,’ says Terry, ‘and the veneered lampshades are drawing lots of interest for their contemporary design and bold colours.’
What began as a scribble on a piece of paper has quickly become one of Terry’s most popular pieces. ‘I love making these lamps! I remember showing my partner a rough sketch, and both of us thinking that it was a lovely shape. I set about designing it further on paper, then turned to CAD to get a more accurate profile. Here I started to create my prototype templates.’
It was important to Terry to keep the elegant and subtle curve of the base as uninterrupted as possible and it took time to play around with a variety of different bases to find the right weight and wiring system that let him use silk braided cable and to let the cable exit the lamp from the side through an aged bronze eyelet. ‘I also wanted to be able to have a central column running through the lamps where I could thread a metal rod so I could hang or rest it on stools either end in order to put my finish on without getting finger marks all over it.
‘Half of the fun is sitting up all hours racking my brains to come up with a solution to a problem that I’m faced with. Call me obsessive if you like, I won’t disagree. I love what I do and the final result must be perfect, not just in how it looks but in the way that it’s made too. I must feel good about the way it works during each step of the process. ‘I put a seal of approval on each piece with my initials and year of manufacture. I think to the future a lot when I’m designing my products. I know how well they’ve been made, so I know they will last a lifetime. So in 100 years time when someone sees my maker’s stamp on the bottom of one of my lamps, they will be able to say “this was well made,” and “they don’t make them like they used to.”
Terry’s talents extend far beyond light making. Along with fitted furniture and units, Terry also undertakes lots of handmade bespoke joinery involving many different materials and techniques. These include stairs, ornate porches, windows and doors. ‘As a trained joiner, I have a wide range of traditional woodworking skills which combine with furniture techniques perfectly. There’s always a call for bespoke work and it forms a large part of my business. I really love it as it’s always different and often a challenge creating something unique that answers the brief.’
At the moment Terry is working on an exclusive table lamp using walnut and figured sycamore and is going to launch the start of another new collection of lamps in the May Design Series in London. ‘As soon as these products are perfected, I will then start to work on some of the furniture designs I have ready including coffee tables, side board units, bookcases, mirrors and some amazing seating solutions.’
To find out more about Terry and his work you can visit www.storm-furniture.co.uk, email email@example.com or speak to Terry on 01986 784439.