MATTHEW BURT HQ
The words ‘commissioning’ or ‘bespoke’ do not quite cover what we set out to achieve when we design and make for you. We prefer to say you are taking part in our Slow Furniture-Making Society, slow as in savouring, and we aim to make this efficient, enjoyable and fun.
Designing and making for you
We are enthused by, and relish responding to, your design requests. You are at the core of what we do and why we do it. Our responses to your requests are the engine of our imagination and creativity. We do so from the simple to the complex, from a shelf to a roomset or an entire houseful. Our response is likely to be a ‘one of a kind’ or at least a ‘one at a time’ piece of furniture. Popping into a shop or a quick trawl through the internet for a product made in China, it is not. We do make the assumption that you have approached us because you like what you have seen of our work.
We will normally visit each other, both home and away. Settings will be viewed, parameters, materials and timings will be discussed and a ‘design brief’ will emerge. This could be loose, “I’d like a piece for that space there” or tight, “we need a circular table that sits eight family capable of expanding to sit sixteen formally, in this room and we like to sit at a table 730mm high”.
Time is needed to research, mull over possibilities, present and discuss ideas. Some pieces may require the design and making of specialist fittings or the liaison with other materials and makers. Timber selection and seasoning requires consideration. It deserves deliberation, it takes time. We make that a time to savour and relish with anticipatory enjoyment.
By slow we don’t mean years. At the onset we can agree a timetable, we can even set deadlines as long as we have the time to develop the quality and the excellence we are all expecting.
We will all know what we’re doing, what we’re doing it in, when it will be done, and what it’ll cost, before we fire the gun with a position on our schedule secured by receipt of an advance deposit.
We will keep you imaginatively informed of progress at all stages. We will invite you to visit your work-in-progress and you may wish to be involved in certain decisions or choices during the making. We will ensure that the waiting is enjoyable, entertaining and worth it.
“Working with Matthew is a pure pleasure. He and his team provide the perfect blend of ultimate service and craftsmanship to ensure the entire experience is first class on a global scale, from the visit to the veneer merchant to the fitting of the furniture with loving attention. We are so glad to have found him – if only all companies could deliver in such a manner!”
STUART AND GILL PILLER
If I was asked to encapsulate my attitude to design, I might initially baulk and think of a book. I would then immediately come back down to earth and stress that I come from the design and make tradition. It has been implied that it’s a vanity for a designer to have their own workshop. With us it’s the core of our approach. We are exponents of the design and make tradition, coming through by the apprenticeship route. We recognise and laud the synergy generated between the two.
I am an ardent ambassador for this dual approach. The melding of the two has a powerful synergy. I would add that by default our work should be fit for purpose, imaginatively express their design briefs, reflect their times without an eye to fad or fashion, give joy in use and delight the eye day after day, year after year. Seemingly simple, sculpturally sensual. The work is designed and made for posterity. I bear in mind those grandchildren squabbling over its legacy long after the BMW or Rover is back in the ground. We have never sought the approval of the commentators on taste and acceptability, we only seek the approval of our clients.
About Loud Bark
On occasions we just cannot stop ourselves from speculatively making pieces of furniture fabricating virtuosity where we stretch our skills, run with the idea, respond to the impossible and stretch the budget till the pips squeak.
There are ideas that spring from the sketch book that have an impatience all of their own, they force themselves upon us. Inevitably the decision as to whether or not one of these is brought into the world will be the question ‘can they be financed’? Celia and I wrestle with the real world and then occasionally make the bold decision to jump off and a Loud Bark is on its journey of manifestation. Watch this space, keep your ear to the ground, something extraordinary this way comes.
“Katherine’s desk is a masterpiece and gives us both daily pleasure. Your design is handsome, functional and ingenious. Rick has done a superb job. We are proud of the ensemble of furniture you have made for us over the years. Thank you for taking so much care over this latest piece, and for going the extra mile to make it just right.”
The excitement of bespoke work is that you never know what you will be asked for. This commission to create thirty-two benches from recycled harbour fenders was certainly a first and presented us with a brief we could not resist…
We are enormously proud and flattered that our ‘Finback’ chairs were commissioned by Sir Nicholas and Lady Goodison through the Art Fund for the Fitzwilliam Museum…