In case you haven’t heard the news, BRIKA is delving into serious, world-dominating territory with our announcement about expanding into the furniture category. With the newfound ability to offer the very best in exceptionally made tables, desks and shelving and more, our Maker family has expanded to include carpenters, metalsmiths and lighting maestros. Jack Fouracre, the reclaimed wooden furniture designer and face behind Son of a Woodcutter, is one such artisan. BRIKA visited Jack at his studio in Toronto’s east end to get the scoop on how he makes his beautiful, expertly crafted furniture pieces.
Why is the notion of using reclaimed wood to make your pieces important to you?
Making use of another man’s waste is an incredibly satisfying feeling, especially when you see it in the center of a client’s home and looking beautiful. I hate the idea of landfill, and we go to great lengths to minimize waste in our little shop.
How did you learn the tools of the trade?
I remember watching my father working with wood as a child, I don’t think he ever actually showed me much or gave me much instruction, I just watched. I was always pretty handy anyway – I think my father taught me safety first, then just let the tool do the work for you.
What has been your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur?
Literally running the whole show on your own, day in day out. It’s difficult to look for guidance when you’re so submerged in it all. I have been lucky enough to have some great employees and friends, but it’s often all on my shoulders. Having said that, that’s what keeps it exciting.
Why is making handmade goods important to you?
People in Toronto seem to really appreciate good craftsmanship, and I feel there’s an essence of nobility and respect when you know somebody has made something with their hands. I like to support it where I can too – local craft shows and flea markets are a great place to source handmade goods.
Walk us through the production process.
This is my favorite part; we are always looking for efficiencies that won’t compromise quality. This takes a lot of work but it can be incredibly satisfying. We are big tool heads, so sourcing new or used equipment that make the process smoother is always exciting! The layout of the shop space is always changing in the quest for the perfect setup. The typical process starts with a client coming in to choose the perfect slab and leg combo. We build the steel legs or base first, and they then get sent off for powder coating. In the meantime, we spend the time finishing the wood sections and allow the finish to harden properly, as the natural oils that we use take a little time.
What is the inspiration behind your design?
I think it comes from showing respect for the materials, they tell us how they want to be shaped. As cheesy as it may sound, this is very often how it happens. Aside from that, I just really like clean lines and pieces that are highly functional.