Back in 2001, Laurent studied 3D Industrial Design at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. Some time later, in 2017, he completed a course in Fine Furniture Making at Robinson House Studio, where he worked under designer Marc Fish, before setting up his own business, making fine contemporary furniture. Laurent now works on a mixture of private commissions and pieces for exhibition, with a sideline in surface design geared towards interior designers, property developers and architects.
In 2017, Laurent’s Sika console table was awarded The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Bespoke Guild Mark #465. In 2018 his Piper surfaces won the Shillingford Dulux Colour in Design Award, while Sika was highly commended in The Furniture Makers’ Company Design Award. His Piper X credenza was highly commended by The Furniture Makers’ Company in last year’s awards.
Laurent’s artful Piper X sideboard, which employs peppercorns and bio-resin to achieve a shagreen surface effect, was highly commended in last year’s Furniture Makers’ Company Design Awards.
“The semi-abstract pattern on the doors and drawer fronts is a surface I’ve developed over the last few years using layers of whole peppercorns and bio-resin,” Laurent says. “The surface catches people by surprise, as they often expect it to be textured, not smooth and tactile. Many say it looks like shagreen – a material I’ve long liked the look of, but not the idea of (no rays were harmed in the making of these surfaces!).
“The surface is fully sealed when finished – so no peppery aroma lingers, but during production the smell fills my whole workshop. The cabinetry itself is crafted from European oak and fumed oak, with laminated brass handles and fine brass detailing.
“I like my cabinets to function on multiple levels, so there are open-ended sections at either side to allow for display of beautiful books, ornaments or other items of pride and joy. An easy-access large central drawer is flanked by pivot-hinged doors, providing useful cupboard space, while two discrete internal drawers are tucked in behind.”
On his general design philosophy, Laurent says: “I have a fascination with materials, pattern and texture, and strive to combine these in ways which catch people by surprise.”