Desk by Young & Norgate

Young & Norgate

When Dave Young and Ross Norgate met in 2009 they were studying furniture design and cabinet-making in North Devon, and it wasn't long before they realised that they shared the same vision and ideals. "From a joinery background, Ross is a genius when it comes to the tools, and with a keen eye on the design we make a good partnership," says Dave, who is originally from New Zealand. He moved to Devon with his wife five years ago after a stint in London and in 2010, he and Ross took the plunge, finding a suitable workshop space and acquiring all the necessary kit to start making.

This is a very important distinction; Dave and Ross clearly define their work as making, as opposed to manufacturing. "Most of the work we produce is either one-off, or part of a limited-edition run. Even the pieces in our current collection can be made according to the client's requirements," says Dave. The work is carried out by hand, by a small group of skilled craftsmen and each maker takes a specific project through to completion, as opposed to being involved in one stage of the process. Dave says: "It is much more satisfying for the maker and I would like to think that a better end product is achieved."

The whole approach to design and prototyping taken by Young & Norgate is a traditional one that uses techniques proven to deliver quality and longevity. While they have recently started working with computer software during the design process, Dave says that there is something immediate when putting pencil to paper. "With furniture there are various elements that need to be 100% – like comfort when it comes to chairs. Therefore we'll be stringing together cardboard, paper, offcuts, or whatever we have lying around to achieve the desired result."

Dave explains that their main aim is to create good-quality, long-lasting products. "If the piece doesn't look the part in 10-50 years' time, then we have failed in what we set out to achieve. The intention is to create a timelessness in our design, using carefully considered materials that will get better with age."

It is for this reason that Dave and Ross work predominantly in timber, which they carefully source from sustainably conscious suppliers in the local area. "The majority of the timber comes from a yard just up the road, which is ideal for picking out boards with projects in mind," says Dave, explaining that it always depends on where the piece is destined to go, as to timber choice and type of finish. "But we have our favourites," he admits. More recently they have also been experimenting with metals and leather, both of which, Dave says, pair beautifully with wood.

Since Young & Norgate started out, the team has expanded to six members of staff and this has propelled the business in terms of the size of projects they can take on. While they originally set out just to craft furniture, it wasn't long before they were making architectural staircases, handmade kitchens and providing joinery for commercial projects all over the country.

"As with any business starting out in a recession, we have been open to all kinds of work thrown our way," says Dave, adding that they are able to take on large interior projects and commercial work and still commit to reasonable lead times on furniture pieces. "It's nice to have a mix of work and it gets us into environments we could only have dreamt of several years ago," he says.

But it's not all plain sailing for the design duo. One of the main challenges they face is lack of time. "Time is a valuable resource in our line of business and there is never enough of it," says Dave. "As you can imagine, when making anything by hand, it demands focus and dedication – there isn't a lot of room for error. And it's a case of educating people in terms of the time required to make something. Most of us walk into a store and if something looks good and is in budget, we buy it. There is very little connection with how it is made or by whom."

The most rewarding part of the job for Ross and Dave is when a client appreciates the craftsmanship that goes into a Young & Norgate piece. "It's nice to know that it is going to be admired, used and become a part of someone's home interior for many years to come," says Dave.

www.youngandnorgate.com

Chairs by Young & Norgate
Desk by Young & Norgate
Drawer detail. Desk by Young & Norgate
Desk and chair by Young & Norgate

Young & Norgate

When Dave Young and Ross Norgate met in 2009 they were studying furniture design and cabinet-making in North Devon, and it wasn't long before they realised that they shared the same vision and ideals. "From a joinery background, Ross is a genius when it comes to the tools, and with a keen eye on the design we make a good partnership," says Dave, who is originally from New Zealand. He moved to Devon with his wife five years ago after a stint in London and in 2010, he and Ross took the plunge, finding a suitable workshop space and acquiring all the necessary kit to start making.

This is a very important distinction; Dave and Ross clearly define their work as making, as opposed to manufacturing. "Most of the work we produce is either one-off, or part of a limited-edition run. Even the pieces in our current collection can be made according to the client's requirements," says Dave. The work is carried out by hand, by a small group of skilled craftsmen and each maker takes a specific project through to completion, as opposed to being involved in one stage of the process. Dave says: "It is much more satisfying for the maker and I would like to think that a better end product is achieved."

The whole approach to design and prototyping taken by Young & Norgate is a traditional one that uses techniques proven to deliver quality and longevity. While they have recently started working with computer software during the design process, Dave says that there is something immediate when putting pencil to paper. "With furniture there are various elements that need to be 100% – like comfort when it comes to chairs. Therefore we'll be stringing together cardboard, paper, offcuts, or whatever we have lying around to achieve the desired result."

Dave explains that their main aim is to create good-quality, long-lasting products. "If the piece doesn't look the part in 10-50 years' time, then we have failed in what we set out to achieve. The intention is to create a timelessness in our design, using carefully considered materials that will get better with age."

It is for this reason that Dave and Ross work predominantly in timber, which they carefully source from sustainably conscious suppliers in the local area. "The majority of the timber comes from a yard just up the road, which is ideal for picking out boards with projects in mind," says Dave, explaining that it always depends on where the piece is destined to go, as to timber choice and type of finish. "But we have our favourites," he admits. More recently they have also been experimenting with metals and leather, both of which, Dave says, pair beautifully with wood.

Since Young & Norgate started out, the team has expanded to six members of staff and this has propelled the business in terms of the size of projects they can take on. While they originally set out just to craft furniture, it wasn't long before they were making architectural staircases, handmade kitchens and providing joinery for commercial projects all over the country.

"As with any business starting out in a recession, we have been open to all kinds of work thrown our way," says Dave, adding that they are able to take on large interior projects and commercial work and still commit to reasonable lead times on furniture pieces. "It's nice to have a mix of work and it gets us into environments we could only have dreamt of several years ago," he says.

But it's not all plain sailing for the design duo. One of the main challenges they face is lack of time. "Time is a valuable resource in our line of business and there is never enough of it," says Dave. "As you can imagine, when making anything by hand, it demands focus and dedication – there isn't a lot of room for error. And it's a case of educating people in terms of the time required to make something. Most of us walk into a store and if something looks good and is in budget, we buy it. There is very little connection with how it is made or by whom."

The most rewarding part of the job for Ross and Dave is when a client appreciates the craftsmanship that goes into a Young & Norgate piece. "It's nice to know that it is going to be admired, used and become a part of someone's home interior for many years to come," says Dave.

www.youngandnorgate.com