Nick Vorstermans

I am a trained cabinetmaker and furniture maker, and I primarily work with sustainable, reclaimed and found wood.

Q&A

What craft do you work with? 

I am a trained cabinetmaker and furniture maker, and I primarily work with sustainable, reclaimed and found wood. I have been working with wood as a craft since childhood, first learning from my Dad. He taught me basic skills and also let me use his own wood shop and tools to explore and learn about the craft, exploring techniques and giving me creative freedom. In 2008 I trained as a cabinetmaker and for ten years ran my own bespoke furniture business. In 2017 I received my MA:Design in Furniture from the Manchester School of Art. Since then I have been working with primarily green wood, turning bowls, carving spoons and making other wood objects. My favourite technique is leaving a tool finish on the wood, meaning the final surface is straight from the tool, no sandpaper needed. Whether it’s from a hand plane, spoon knife or bowl gouge, perfecting my tool use to provide the best possible finish constantly drives me to learn and practice my skills.

What inspires you to work with this craft? 

I have always learned through doing and I love solving problems and making tangible things with my hands. Working with wood gives me the opportunity to both spend time in nature searching for materials and interacting with a diverse set of people to learn more about my craft. Making usable, utilitarian and beautiful objects from a renewable materials matters; it is a means of protest against mass produced consumer products and an effort towards more sustainable ways of living. Crafted objects invite people to gain an insight into how they were made, who made them and to inspire others to take up craft in some form throughout their lives. My favourite material to use is any wood that I collect myself from my local neighbourhood as I then have a special connection with it and can add this narrative into the piece that I am making.

How do you start your creative process?

My creative process is usually spurred by an idea of a shape or form I want to create. This is often inspired by the unique character of the wood, through engagement with other woodcrafters, engagement with other mediums such as ceramics, or an idea that just pops into my head. I most often begin through experimentation, mounting the wood on my lathe, for example, and beginning to shape it or axing out a spoon blank, and then sketching the shape directly onto the wood and carving, refining the form as I go. I have always worked best from full size prototypes and exploring in 3D. The most enjoyable part of my creative process is this experimentation and being free to explore, the most challenging part is trying to draw up ideas or concepts, which is why I find the best way for me is to just go for it.

How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?

My current studio is small! It’s 3m x 4m and is in my cellar in Old Trafford. While small, it is big enough for a workbench, tool storage, sharpening station, a bandsaw, a small lathe and my bowl lathe. In order to create my current work I could not do without my lathes.

Are there new techniques you would like to try?

Yes! I would like to learn more about using scrapers on the lathe and explore turning end grain cups and bowls.

What have you learnt or the best advice you have received that you would like to share with fellow crafters?

The best piece of craft advice I have ever received is that there are many ways of getting to the same result; find what works for you and your budget.

What other types of craft do you dream of collaborating with?

I am always in awe of ceramics and would love to collaborate with a potter.

What professional dream do you have?

My professional dream is to create useful objects that bring function and beauty into peoples lives and inspire them to try making something with their own hands.

Media & Contact

Representation

Studio Critical:

 

References

Website: studiocritical.com

Instagram: studio_critical

Location

Old Trafford, England, United Kingdom