Ray Clarke's Profile

About

Ray Clarke is one of a new generation of upholsterers & furniture designers, making things to sit on that are practical, comfortable and luxurious, beautiful and contemporary. Ray’s unique bespoke furniture is made with a designer’s eye for shape and colour, but is also created to traditional craftsman’s standards to withstand the rigours of time and heavy wear.


"I love the freedom that this work gives me to transform a space completely ,often they come as part of a total redesign. The challenge is to create something distinctive that can stand up to the wear and tear of London’s late night crowd and I can use very modern fabrics and designs. I love to go out, I love to socialise, so it’s simple. I design and make the kind of seats I want to sit on when I go out!’’
Ray’s keen eye for style and background in fashion sets the standard for every piece…

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  • Male
  • Born on January 13
  • Joined March 19, 2008

Favorite materials

Leather, Fabrics, Chenille, Velour, Sewing, Threads, Hessian, Coir Fibre, Animal Hair, Wool Interliner, Foams

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About

Ray Clarke is one of a new generation of upholsterers & furniture designers, making things to sit on that are practical, comfortable and luxurious, beautiful and contemporary. Ray’s unique bespoke furniture is made with a designer’s eye for shape and colour, but is also created to traditional craftsman’s standards to withstand the rigours of time and heavy wear.


"I love the freedom that this work gives me to transform a space completely ,often they come as part of a total redesign. The challenge is to create something distinctive that can stand up to the wear and tear of London’s late night crowd and I can use very modern fabrics and designs. I love to go out, I love to socialise, so it’s simple. I design and make the kind of seats I want to sit on when I go out!’’
Ray’s keen eye for style and background in fashion sets the standard for every piece of furniture he makes. Beauty is always paramount, but this originality and creative flair is bound to a commitment to durability, quality and high standards of workmanship.
"Upholstery isn’t just about trendy furniture! Everything has to be ten times as tough, ten times as strong" As well as creating my own new bespoke pieces, I love the creative challenge of restoring a beautiful piece of traditional furniture, whether recapturing its original feel or transforming it into something fresh and new. "There’s nothing like the feeling that you’ve brought something beautiful from the past back to fresh life.’
I have since completed furnishing projects for many prestigious clients including West Ham United Football club, The BBC, Channel 4, The Cantaloupe Group, Seary Architects, Forster inc. and The Leonard Street Gallery. I currently live and work in the East End of London.


The project that Kickstarted my interest in furniture and furnishings came in 2003 when a friend asked me to restore a pair of chairs for her home. Whilst not having any experience in furniture reupholstery My friend had faith in my design experience and taste; from there a new passion for furniture was ignited. and I went on to retrain and learn new skills completing the AMUSF accredited City & Guilds Level 2 and Level 3 courses in Upholstery, soft furnishings, frame repair and wood finishing at London Metropolitan University

Like many artists and designers In the early days I had to take on part time work to support my fledgling business while formerly retraining in upholstery and soft furnishings at university. During one period I working as a bartender I was asked by my employer to collaborate with an architect on a large project to install bespoke seating. From there my enterprise grew with each project undertaking gradually challenging and growing my skills, toolkit, and studio craft. Developing relationships with top fabric companies
It has taken just over 10 years to establish a small but growing business. From November 2009 I finally moved my workshop out of a rented flat and set up a studio space within Container Futures in Bromley-By-Bow through Bow Arts Trust. In September 2016 I moved again to a larger workshop in Bow

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