28 Apr Interview: Matt Jones Woodturner
In this, the first in a monthly series of posts interviewing Irish Designers and Artists, I ask ten of life’s essential questions. Read on…
You are introduced to a stranger at a party, they ask you what you do, how do you answer?
Im a craftsman. I work with wood. Then I attempt to explain what woodturning is.
Why do you do what you do and what inspires you?
I make beautiful utilitarian and sculptural objects in wood. I’m mainly inspired by nature. The wood itself is often all the inspiration I need. I try to make simple shapes that allow the colour and the grain to speak for themselves.
What is your morning routine?
A cup of tea in bed, a fruit smoothie, kids to school then into the workshop. I’m most productive in the morning, the afternoon tends to be interrupted by kids coming home, phone calls and emails. If I go back to the workshop in the evening its usually to play around or tidy up.
Five things you wish you had known starting out
Its a journey, I don’t regret the mistakes, without them I wouldn’t have learn’t or improved. If I knew how long it would take to master the tools or to figure out the business end I might not have started.
Five tools that help you run your business
The hand tools
and the kettle!
If money was no object what three things would you change straight away and what three would you still do?
I’d build a huge workshop with heating and big bright windows. I’d hire a workshop assistant, someone to tidy up and rough turn pieces for me and I’d also have someone to maintain the website and chase invoices etc.
I’d still make the work and meet retailers and talk to journalists and customers
A collaboration Matt did with Makers and Brothers for the DCCOI Weathering exhibition in London (above)
How do your customers find you?
I’m also on twitter and instagram
Social Media. Do you use it, what platforms have worked the best, what tips do you have?
Facebook is the most useful in terms of driving sales although they ( facebook) make it increasingly hard for you. Keep content informal. Customers want to see inside your world, to experience the human story behind your craft. If your facebook is just one big advert for your product no one will care. On the other hand no one wants to know what you had for dinner or whether you intend to pay the water charges.
Apple / PC Apple, Id rather use a quill and ink than use a PC
Tea / Coffee Tea
Digital recording / paper Paper
Country / City Country
Early Bird / Night Owl Night Owl
Favourite Book Water Music by T C Boyle
Favourite Film Jaws
Favourite Song Superstition by Stevie Wonder
Favourite Place Any beach, anywhere
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