Yorkshire-based furniture designer and maker Anthony Hartley describes himself as a “jumped up joiner” who started drawing and designing furniture while he was supposed to be doing other things at school and then never really stopped. For this month’s Deconstruction, Hartley walks us through the design and production process of his new range of dining and occasional furniture, called Cable. The pieces are made from clean and simple MDF or ply template shapes, sprayed in Hartley’s trademark strong color palette. The innovation comes in the joining of the templates, which uses multicolored cable ties to secure them, and which can be easily assembled without tools. Customers can order a matching set, a single base color with a mix of accents, or a completely custom colorway.
Like most of my designs, Cable just popped into my head while working on another project. One Sunday afternoon I was drawing plans for a client’s dining table, when I got to wondering how to join components without dowels or screws, or mortise and tenon. By tea-time I had worked out that I could use cable ties and also make them a decorative feature of the furniture. By Tuesday I was sitting down for dinner on the prototype chair at the prototype table.
In my Haworth workshop, I hand draw each element of the pieces, using traditional technical drawing skills that I learned at school. I have yet to venture into the world of computer design. Often times, I even make things without a drawing, by simply relying on my eye and experience to create the template.
Once the templates and prototypes are perfected (and usually used at home for several weeks to stress test them), they are either primed and sprayed in color, or cut out of colored laminates.
I designed the pieces in Cable with a 45-degree angle between each element in order to allow for a clean join, and, I inset the channel for the cable tie. I use traditional cabinet making skills, which means a high dependency on various routers. I set up jigs across several machines and move each piece from one to the next by hand.
The Cable collection chairs are easy to assemble–just six flat pack pieces, some cable ties, and ten minutes.
Add an orange seat
And an orange back
Table with a blue top
Quick assembly means that I have plenty of time to have fun with the finished products! Look out for a graffiti range and some special finishes by young local artists over the coming year.