Colin Waters -Meet the Maker January January 05 2016
This month we meet someone who's been a big inspiration to me personally, he even sparked my love of making things from an early age. Not only that but I have more than a few custom make pieces of this furniture in my home. It's my dad, Colin Waters, now on sale at the Turpentine!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?
I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands, even as a boy woodworking was my favourite subject at school. However, it wasn’t until after my children were born that I really started making again. I slowly built up my collection of tools and started making furniture for the home. When I retired in 2005, I decided to build my own workshop and fully equipped it. Since then I’ve been making bespoke pieces of furniture for my family as well as some commissions, and more recently smaller items now selling at the Turpentine.
What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?
Wood is such a beautiful material, both visually and to work with, so much of the inspiration for each piece comes from the wood itself. I look at a piece of wood and think “what can I make from this” so as to use the wood to best effect. Also, I’m strongly influenced by contemporary design, such as, the simple lines in the Scandinavian style. A lot of my earlier work draws influences from the Arts and Craft movement, which was concerned with the simplification of Victorian design, and where hand-crafted work was prized over factory made objects.
What is the process?
The work I’m currently selling with the Turpentine involves fairly simple processes compared to the my furniture.
The animal Jigsaws start off as flat pieces of wood overlaid with an animal design. I use a scroll saw, which is a saw with a very fine blade enabling me to cut the intricate jigsaw pieces. Each one is then sanded down and sealed to bring out the grain.
The jigsaws are part educational, spelling out the animal’s name as part of its body. So I use bright primary colours in child safe paint to make these stand out.
My handmade Christmas Decorations are turned on a lathe by eye. So each one ends up slightly different and unique.
What do you enjoy most about being a maker?
For me it’s the design as well as the making but what I really love is the joy of the final stages, applying the wax or varnish and seeing the grain and colour of the wood come out on the finished piece.