Neil Scott-Furniture Maker
Tell me a little bit about yourself Neil.
I am originally from the western cape of southern Africa, where the dramatic mountain ranges roll in to the cold Atlantic and Indian ocean. Where the southern right comes into the bay to give birth and we surfed with dolphins on a daily basis. Being a Sagittarian travel was in my blood when my parents got married they drove to Aifrca form the UK and decided to stay there. At the age of 21 I decided to pack my bags and head the UK on an adventure where to travel was my main ambition. After spending 15 years in London, I heard about the Sylva Foundation opening in South Oxfordshire, we visited the space when it was still an old potato storage warehouse and fell in love with the place right away. My faithful workshop companions are my two rhodesian ridgebacks Hector and Mara and Colin Henwood the master boat builder and a fountain of knowledge. I am inspired by my family. My current goals are to get more of my creations into loving homes. I drink Coffee and listen to everything that brings a smile to my face.
What or when was the turning point for you when you thought working with wood is what I love?
It all started when I drove passed a school that was being demolished in London and they were getting rid of old teak science lab desks, which I was able to reclaim. That’s when I created my first dining table as a commission. The following year on my surf travels around the globe I came across so many discarded pieces of timber that I fell in love with due to their natural imperfections, pieces not fit for the timber industry. I wanted to give them a second life. I shipped the timber back to the UK and started creating some pieces.
You enjoy using a variety of different materials such as resin within your work which gives a beautiful effect. How did this come about?
The timber I am drawn to often has imperfections and my knowledge of resin came from shaping my own surfboards, and seemed a natural progression to experiment with wood and resin.
What part of the process gives you the greatest satisfaction when producing your work? Is it the physicality of working with your hands or experimenting with combining certain woods with a new method of production.
Delivering the final pieces to the clients home and seeing the smile on their face The physicality of my hands and the final finish of the product.
Delivering the final product to the client.
Your furniture is just beautiful and many pieces of wood have such a rich history to their origins. Would you say you prefer to produce functional everyday items rather than artistic art pieces or both?
As an artist I love to create functional pieces of art. I love the idea that they become part of a famiiies history, around which stories and meals are shared for generations.
What tool or piece of equipment could you not live without?
Has there been a particular piece that you really enjoyed making?
Each and every one of them is an individual character. I try not to manipulate the timber as no one can re-create the natural beauty of nature. I try to let the wood to do the talking, to guide me to the shape the furniture will become.
What inspires you ?
My wife, mother nature and the beautiful planet we live on.