Nick James is a designer-maker of high quality, bespoke furniture, much of which is made to commission. Nick is an advocate of traditional woodworking techniques that are rare in contemporary practice. A machine can’t pick up a piece of wood, study the flow of the grain or make a decision about how to use it.
This new body of work uses a new innovative technique Nick has developed using laser cut Formica marquetry. Marquetry has been used in furniture for centuries to embellish and add to each piece. This has normally been done with using different kinds of wood which is painstakingly cut by hand. Formica is a classic mid-century material that has been used extensively in furniture since it was developed in the early 20th century. Having come through something of a renaissance in recent years, Formica has come back into fashion and fits right in with the mid-century design trend we can see over the past 18 months.
Putting these two materials and techniques together with a contemporary innovative twist – Nick uses a laser cutter to shape the formica to ensure each shape fits exactly with its neighbour. Working with colour, having studied the colour theorist Joseff Albers, each Formica colour is carefully chosen and shaped to give a high quality finish with a distinctive classic geometric design.
Nick James's work current features in our Great Exhibition of the North 2018 exhibition design | innovate | craft.