Temper studio approach every project with an with an optimistic attitude. For them, creativity comes to the fore when you’re forced to find new methods and solutions to design problems…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Temper Studio designs and makes idiosyncratic, contemporary furniture, household objects and the occasional structure from a small workshop in rural Wiltshire. Our influences are broad, indiscriminate and irreverent. Our skills and methods are won the fun way, through practice, trial and error. We’re a small team of George Winks (founder, designer, craftshuman), Jonathan Peel (craftshuman and workshop manager) and Emily Gabriel (apprentice craftshuman).
How did you get started?
I founded the business in 2013, following years working as a graphic designer, with a background in drawing and painting. After a much needed, mind-clearing solo trip around the Outer Hebrides in foul February weather I decided it was time to work for myself. I took my dabbling in furniture design and long love of woodworking and decided to build a company around them.
What do you specialise in making?
We specialise in tables, benches, desks and cabinets. We have a particular love for material combinations, marrying wood, concrete, steel, leather, brass and glass. However, sustainable UK grown timber is the constant throughout. More recently we’ve been focusing on the wood itself, how we cut it and shape it to expose the grain and structure of the material. We also take on anything that seems interesting, we’ve done a couple of shepherd’s huts and restored a 1930’s wooden boat.
Do you have a particular philosophy or set of values when you approach your work you can describe?
As far as design is concerned, the foundation stone for me is always pushing myself into the ‘I have no idea how to do this’ zone. Creativity happens when you have no method to fall back on. You’re not just running programme, you’re relying on yourself. You don’t know the solution to a problem, so you have to invent one. That’s where all the fun is.
What part of your job most pleases you?
There are so many parts that please me. Struggling for days or weeks to figure out a design problem and then feeling it dissolve with a slight shift in thinking. Standing in my workshop with a big job on the go, the whole team really going for it and every machine screaming late into the night to meet the deadline. There’s also this sublime point when the stack of planks, bits of metal and concrete you've been working on for days quietly morphs into a beautiful thing and the work turns from labour into something thrilling. Then seeing the client recognise that process in the finished object.
Is there a particular material, person or object that has influenced your work?
The first craft I learned was knife-making, when I was a teenager. It was watching my teacher transform these dumb materials - flat steel bar, lumps or tree that looked like firewood, bits of leather and brass - with his hands, a few tools and machines, into something beautiful and useful that taught me that it is possible to take an idea and change the basic matter of the world around you to match that idea. This, somehow, made adolescence bearable.
What do you like listening to when you’re working?
When the machines aren't running we listen to a raft of podcasts including My Dad Wrote a Porno, You are not So Smart, BBC Inside Science, Love + Radio, This American Life etc. When the loud things are shouting we might have some music turned right up. We’re all quite into The Burning Hell at the moment.
Photographs Chloe Winstanley