Local designer Neil Underhay is known for making gorgeous custom pieces, usually for architects working on a specific project. With his latest piece, a striking copper and ostrich table, he’s hoping to change his tack and produce the range on a continuous basis. ‘Ideally, I would work alongside the client to achieve the best, bespoke solution,’ he told HL. ‘After all, I’m not using stock timber here – For every piece I produce, I need to carefully choose the right root.’
When asked about his unique choice of materials, Neil immediately lit up. ‘It’s a long story, but in a nutshell, I really wanted each material to be displayed to its full potential, while still trying to maintain its most raw format.’ He went on to explain that the copper will tarnish beautifully over time as the table is used, that the glass is clear to highlight the beauty of the wood, and that the leather is soft and comfortable but still has rich texture to match the seat-stumps. ‘The steel is rusted and unfinished, because it plays a vital role in making the piece viable as a table,’ he added.
The piece is visually striking and distinctly African in its aesthetic. ‘I wanted to create a piece that expresses my current idea of “variable” furniture,’ Neil told us. ‘I wanted an answer to different applications of the same design. So in essence, variations of this table allow the design to be stretched far and wide. By using different sizes and shapes of stumps and materials, a huge variety of applications is available without changing the overall original design.’ Neil explained that the range could be stretched to make pieces such as an entertainment server at a lodge, a dining table or a solid vanity unit for a bathroom. ‘The copper would be used for each as well and a combination of other materials if necessary.’
To see more of Neil’s work, visit his website at baobabwood.blogspot.com.