Jeremy Broun's Story
A mad dash around Scandinavia, and a quick foray into Italy, gave Jeremy a head start in modern furniture designs and technique. Today he's a well-known furniture designer.
Jeremy estimates that he must have visited virtually every furniture factory, workshop and showroom in Scandinavia and Italy during his Fellowship travels. He spent a few weeks in Stockholm with top industrial designer Ake Axelsson, during which he visited IKEA, who were not yet operating in Britain. He also observed automated processes, such as log peeling and chipboard and plywood making, in factories in Finland.
Jeremy was particularly struck by the fact that leading industrial designers in Scandinavia were trained in handicraft, led by a belief that design skill relies on a hands-on knowledge of materials.
Italy’s extrovert approach to furniture offered a stark contrast to the simple, pure design of the Scandinavians. This was where, says Jeremy, he learned that you can combine sculpture with furniture.
Jeremy credits his Fellowship with being the experience that has had the most impact on his career. It encouraged him to continue creating innovative furniture in the predominately conservative climate that existed in Britain at the time.
In 1986, frustrated by public ignorance about modern furniture culture, he taught himself to make films. He has since created numerous instructional and documentary DVDs, including his Furniture Today series, the third instalment of which earned him an award from the Furniture Makers Company. He has also written several books, including the Encyclopedia of Woodworking Techniques.
Jeremy’s commitment to sharing his passion prompted fellow furniture designer Nicholas Chandler to say of him: “Without doubt, Jeremy has done more than any other designer maker to promote the existence of fine furniture design and making in the last 35 years.”
Today, Jeremy continues to make furniture and other items of woodwork in his own unique style, as well as pursuing projects in music, metalwork and writing, amongst others. In 2006 The Woodworker Magazine named him Professional Woodworker of the Year, describing him as being in the top rank of innovative British woodworkers.