Versatile and chameleon-like. Cork can take centre stage or be blend in with its surrounding environment. This is how the furniture designer, Christian Watson describes this unique raw material. We talked to him about the launch of the Signature Collection, his first signed furniture collection which includes several armchairs and chairs made from cork.
"Best of all is the fact that it is completely chameleon-like. In other words, it can take centre stage, or blend in with its surrounding environment."
When did you begin using cork in your works?
I first discovered cork when I was looking for new materials for furniture made for my clients. I wanted to discover a distinctive raw material that is sustainable and versatile. Cork was the answer.
My increasing use of cork in my commissioned works has made me realize the versatility of this raw material. That’s why I decided to introduce cork in my new Signature Collection, launched this year. I am presenting several cork-based in this collection - from chairs to armchairs. I now believe that this raw material is an indispensable part of my daily creative existence.
Cork is a magnificent raw material. In addition to all its possible variations, it is also recyclable and renewable. These are very interesting factors from an environmental perspective. It is incredibly light, soft to the touch, with a profound, intricate, and yet subtle color. Best of all is the fact that it is completely chameleon-like. In other words, it can take centre stage, or blend in with its surrounding environment.
What do you like most about this raw material?
The first thing is its versatility, but I believe that the most fascinating thing about cork is its overall journey - from the way that it is cultivated and harvested to its processing for different solutions in different areas of activity – including, in my case, use in an item of furniture that will last for decades.
What kind of techniques were used to make these pieces?
The cork was laminated using a biological binder, which gives it even higher resistance and durability. The machining and moulding processes allow us to create interesting shapes without losing the cork’s core structure.
How does cork complement your furniture style?
I love to use as few elements as possible, and always try to achieve a harmonious balance between materials – including some man-made materials, such as metal, and other natural materials, such as wood, leather or cork.
I always try to find the best raw materials, with the best possible quality. In this specific case, cork from Amorim Cork Composites always has the finest quality, and is produced in the best possible way.
About Christian Watson
Christian Watson is a contemporary furniture designer and producer. His designs are exquisite works that demonstrate his unflagging commitment to the highest quality British craftsmanship.
Each piece - impressive and minimalist - will survive passing fads and can be adapted to any environment. A Christian Watson design is a timeless heritage, destined to be used and enjoyed by future generations.