Tim Walker Studio specialises in bespoke interior products for the home. With a strong focus on materials and simple design, he creates beautiful and functional design-led pieces. A busy man with a new business and a new baby, he kindly gave us some time to chat about the inspiration and process behind his creations.
So let’s get down to the questions, what made you choose to start your own business? I’ve actually only been going since Christmas last year. I went to a Christmas market in London and my pieces were really popular. I ended up putting a site together in a couple of days with help from a friend.
You mentioned on your website that you studied 3D design, this may sound stupid but what is that?! 3D design is just that, designing anything that’s three dimensional. I wanted to design something with a purpose and that’s when I became really interested in furniture and then lighting.
Ah makes sense… so what happened next? I moved to London and began working at a fabrication company in Clapton creating huge artworks and sculptures casting in all sorts of materials. My studio is located above the workshop and I still work there three days a week. It’s cool being here as designers bring in their current work which can be so inspiring. You can see how the materials are applied and what people are using at the moment.
How do you create your products? I trialled out loads of different products and casting processes, working with jesmonite, concrete and fibreglass. The concrete pendants are cast by hand, with the inside finished with plaster and fibreglass matting.
Who’s your favourite designer?* That’s a difficult one, I should definitely have one! Can I tell you who my favourite artist is?
Of course… Rachel Whiteread. Working with her, I feel I’ve got a good understanding of her work and what she creates. (Rachel Whiteread is an English artist who specialises in sculptures typically taken in the form of casts. Turner prize winner and CBE you can check her work out in the Tate.)
Awesome, it must be inspiring working in Rachel Whiteread’s workshop! Now the killer question, what defines good design? We used to have to produce Zaha Hadid designs in the workshop. These were super conceptual, impractical and ridiculous.
So more of a vanity project? Yes. Furniture design needs a use. A coffee table is to put your coffee mug on. I think lighting is so important, you go into the John Lewis lighting section and it’s so naff. There’s not much thought on the light itself and how the light is finished on the inside. I’m big on materials, whether they are tactile, material combinations. I guess that why I like using concrete for lights. Making a light out of standard building materials and plaster. Traditionally concrete is used on a mass scale for laying down big floors. I like using it differently. You think of it as cold, bland and grey, but a concrete pendant becomes beautiful with the warm glow of the light.
What’s your favourite product? The clock, it’s hard to do it justice with just a picture.
And what’s in the pipeline? Loads in the pipeline, a larger pendant lamp a floor, desk and bedside lamp. It’s just about getting the time to start!
And I won’t take anymore of it. Thanks Tim.
You can shop Tim Walker’s pieces here and keep your eyes peeled for new product launches.
*Tim Walker is a lovely affable man and this interview was randomly sprung on him. He has assured me he will have a think about who his favourite designer is for future interviews.
All images by Tim Walker Studio and FindDesign