Reclaim the seats: A new breed of designers is transforming scrap into desirable home furnishings
It was long before “eco” became a buzzword, back in the Seventies, that David Meddings had his green epiphany. Travelling across the Sahara, he spotted a shack, which, on closer inspection, turned out to be a shop, crudely constructed from driftwood and Coke cans. Inspired by this clever use of waste, Meddings started selling carpetbags to designers back in London, before decamping to Ireland, where he observed more examples of thrifty recycling.
In the UK, however, it’s a different story. Meddings is now based in Suffolk, where he makes furniture and other household objects out of timber reclaimed from old cable reels. He made his first rocking chair, one of his most popular products, in 2002, and when he showed it at a fair, it was snapped up. Meddings takes his design lead from the reels – the rocking chair retains the three bolts that held the reel together.
His next design was a three-legged table, a sturdy, rustic piece that can be used indoors or out, held together by a thick bolt through the centre. This means it can be transported and assembled at home with ease. Much of the wood Meddings uses is mature and of high quality, and he brings out the character of each piece by making features of the gnarls and knots. Each product is finished with environmentally friendly lacquer.
Meddings is currently doing garden-furniture workshops at the Spring Renaissance show in London’s Covent Garden, and his work is on sale there until Sunday.
By Sophie Morris