Tom Raffield

Tom Raffield

Design Story

Tom is based in the idyllic setting of a hidden woodland in Helston, Cornwall. It is an absolutely stunning place that he built himself from scratch. Not only exotic in its own way, it is also a huge part of the inspiration behind his beautiful work and defining his unique personality.

Defining himself as a designer maker, he has always loved making things with his hands. Even today, if you were to ask him to design a chair on a computer, no doubt he would put it down straight away, go to his workshop and start to play around with material. Sustainability and understanding the reason why one should be designing furniture is what drives Tom’s work. Having a sustainable process and creating good products so that people don’t throw them away is essential to him. “Good design is about creating products that are really well made and really beautiful so that people can have them forever and pass them to their children if they want to. This gives a rational reason for being a designer.”

Steam bending

Tom uses steam bending, a technique that he explored relentlessly at university, knowing that it was going to be the one for him. He brings his own twist to this traditional process, which allows him to create complex 3D curves in wood. His bag technique allows him to bend the wood more slowly and for a longer period of time in comparison to the original process, which places the wood in a steam chamber and then takes it outside to bend it. Tom places a bag filled with steam on specific portions of the wood and creates twist while the steam is affecting the wood.

Sculpture was part of Tom’s early formation, which has had quite an impact on his work. He names Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth as important influences, for their form and ideas of course, but mostly because of the way they were inspired by their landscape. Similarly, he draws his inspiration in the nature that surrounds his studio and has the biggest respect for it. As a result, his lamps and furniture combine contemporary design with natural harmony.

Discover Tom and his work in the below video

Discover Tom Raffield’s products

  • Arbor Chair
    by Tom Raffield
    CHF 1980
  • May Coffee Table
    by Tom Raffield
    CHF 1610
  • Skipper Pendant
    by Tom Raffield
    CHF 380
  • Skipper Floor Light
    by Tom Raffield
    CHF 755
  • Butterfly Pendant
    by Tom Raffield
    CHF 650
  • Helix Light
    by Tom Raffield
    CHF 530