Last week, the One Plymouth team had a chance to meet with Charlie Williams, the man behind Finest Things.
Finest Things is a Plymouth based, bespoke furniture and homeware crafting company and Charlie’s unique makes are set to take the UK by storm. From quirky Nixie Clocks, through custom guitar stands to distinctive urban furniture, all sorts are made inside of Charlie’s workshop. All of the designs are carefully thought through and crafted with meticulous care. Every single one of them is a little work of art.
Charlie’s passion for wood work and metal fabrication is evident as soon as you walk through the workshop door. Filled with tools, plans, templates and some of his work, Charlie talks with great pride about each and every single piece and there’s a great story behind making them all, as there is about how it all began.
“Wood work started with my dad, in a garage, no power tools, all back to basics. None of the new machinery that’s now widely used was available to us you see. We made all sorts of things from table’s to bunk bed’s. He definitely must’ve had a lot of patience for me, I used blunt his chisels, miss-measure things, I drove him insane. But I learnt everything from him just by doing it, by spending time together.”
“Wood work has always been present in his life, mostly as a hobby.”
“Initially I was going to do a roofing apprenticeship with my father and was all signed up but at the last minute I pulled out and got a Blacksmithing apprenticeship . I completed my first year but then that side of the business went bust, so I moved over to the Fabrication section and studied for another 3 years. I’ve always loved working with wood so turning my hobby into work was fantastic”
Judging by what we’ve seen inside of the workshop, furniture making and working with wood as well as metal are certainly Charlies fortes. He also tries to document all of his work on film so that viewers can see the whole process step by step.
“ I follow other makers on YouTube a lot. I learnt so much through these guys that I just want to give it back to that community. Now I want people to be able to learn from me, see how I made my pieces. I don’t want to just show everyone the end result. I want to inspire kids to get their eyes off the telly and start making, inspire families to start doing things together ”
During our visit, Charlie showed us some of his most recent and beloved pieces including a beautiful guitar stand which he made for his friend, as a “music studio warming” gift for when he moves in to his new music studio. We also saw a very unique, clip in wooden chair. This quirky and modern piece can be easily assembled and dismantled without using any tools at all. Every single piece clips in together using a very clever, time and space saving design.
But the real ‘piece de resistance’ has to be the Cable Table, or as Charlie calls it – project “Patience”. For the purpose of this make, Charlie also created his own mechanism which allowed his camera to be suspended from the ceiling and rotate around the work bench to film his progress. Bringing his vision to fruition meant endless hours of work filled with trials and errors. However, as you can see, the result is absolutely spectacular and one of a kind.
“ Whenever I feel like giving up now, I think – Cable Table. I remember Matt and I were trying to glue laminate leg number 4 and everything was just going so wrong. Sure, it could’ve been simplified, I could’ve just abandoned it altogether at that early stage; but I had a vision of what I wanted to achieve and compromise or quitting was not on the cards. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you feel like you’re ready to give up, just remember one reason why you undertook the project. Those hard moments pushed me forward, use them to your advantage and don’t let them stop you. ”
Finest Things Devon have a vibrant online shop filled with beautiful pieces readily available. Charlie also takes commissions and can provide his own materials or recycle any wood you have and prefer being used. He can also upcycle or repurpose your old furniture and turn them into something you will love and treasure. Don’t forget to follow him on Facebook and keep an eye on some fantastic giveaways coming soon.
Chair Design Credit: David Chadwick