About Simon Pirie
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"My work has been inspired by many different influences: time spent in Glasgow led to an immersion in the work of Charles Rennie-Mackintosh; a trip to Japan exposed me to the beauty of the Torii temples and gates. But the work is driven mostly by a detailed understanding of proportion, a sense of grace and elegance and a real love of the timber and respect for its characteristics. "
Studio: The Courtyard Workshop, Rogers Hill Farm, Briantspuddle, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7HJ
Number: 01929 471900 | 07802 895939
I was born in Hampshire, England in 1969. Having completed a degree in Fine Art at Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1991, I went on to study under John Makepeace at Hooke Park College, part of the Parnham Trust in Dorset and graduated with an M.Sc. in Forest Product Technology, Manufacture & Design in 1993. After a period teaching on the Furniture and Product Design degree course at Bournemouth University, I set up my first furniture workshop in 1998.
In 2007 I was joined by my wife, Bridget and by my long-term employee, maker John Beaves and Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd was born. This coincided with a move to larger premises in Briantspuddle and while I still design every piece, John now manages production with a small but dedicated team of makers.
My work has been inspired by many different influences: time spent in Glasgow led to an immersion in the work of Charles Rennie-Mackintosh; a trip to Japan exposed me to the beauty of the Torii temples and gates. But the work is driven mostly by a detailed understanding of proportion, a sense of grace and elegance and a real love of the timber and respect for its characteristics. Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, using only sustainable and, wherever possible, British timber in its furniture.
The company prides itself on creating furniture and interiors that are special, and this in turn attracts clients who are looking for the exceptional – something exquisite. Although contemporary in character my designs are not minimal or sterile. I use rich combinations of timbers, colours, textures and forms to create exciting spaces with a real ‘wow’ factor. This can be seen in the many large interior projects like kitchens, studies and bars, as well as in the free-standing furniture. Admirers can enjoy the growing number of public works including the curving bench in Tudor Arcade in Dorchester and the sculptural log seating at The Rickyard in Shaftesbury.
Collaborative projects have included working with ZMMA Architects on furniture for both the V&A Museum and the new Watts Gallery in Surrey. One of the most recent partnerships has been with Sitting Spiritually of Lyme Regis where I have designed a contemporary garden furniture range. This was launched at RHS Chelsea 2016 and one of the elements, ‘Floating Bench’, was shortlisted for the RHS Chelsea 2016 Garden Product of the Year. New additions to the contemporary range, the ‘Noir’ and ‘Blonde’ benches will be unveiled at Chelsea in 2017and at the time of writing I have been shortlisted for another Design Guild Mark, for ‘Floating Bench’.