A Language in Wood
Designer craftsman: furniture, interiors and garden features
To make his unique and beautiful designs Petter Southall steam bends exceptional pieces of solid wood into lyrical curves, arches, twists and rings. His Scandinavian sense of design and understanding of wood is coupled with exceptional craftsmanship.
Petter has been designing and making his distinctive furniture in his Dorset studio since 1991. He has made hundreds of private commissions from dining rooms to desks to bedrooms and outdoor seating. His furniture is in public spaces, on sculpture trails, in working and corporate reception areas, dining rooms and boardrooms as well as in hospital gardens and sanctuaries.
An unusually gifted designer, he is also an uncompromising craftsman with an eye for detail and proportion that is second to none. He came to furniture making from a background of building traditional wooden boats in his native Norway. His work combines boatbuilding techniques such as steam bending and the use of copper rivets with classical and more intuitive cabinet making to create a truly innovative language in wood.
‘Deceptively simple yet utterly sophisticated … the objects of my desire are made by the furniture designer Petter Southall, who opened Sladers Yard with his wife, Anna Powell, in 2006 as a showroom for his work and also a space to exhibit and sell the output of other local artists and craftspeople. The result is an atmospheric gallery… Visit this wonderful place.’ Read the rest of the article here.Caroline Palmer Financial Times, How To Spend It, August 2012.
Petter loves to work in solid timber – especially varieties of oak – which feels authentic and true to the touch. Like any natural material, wood reacts to its environment and requires the deep knowledge and skill that Petter brings to his craft. He has always been highly aware of the environmental impact of his work, using wood that is ethically sourced to encourage good forestry, and only working in timbers native to Northern Europe, with no tropical hardwoods. Petter often uses copper rivets, avoiding the use of glues and composites as much as possible, in order to avoid unhealthy emissions and any delamination (when glues fail after time). His work is designed to enhance life, as so many of Petter’s loyal customers and visitors to Sladers Yard have discovered to their pleasure.