Meet The Maker at Reza Wood Designs- Ali Fakourpoor
I finally managed to get 5 minutes with Ali Fakourpoor to ask him some questions about why he does what he does and what drives him to create his beautiful pieces. If you have any other questions you wish to ask Ali put them in the comments box and he'll try his best!
How did you get started in woodworking?
When I was 16 I got a summer job working with a distant family member who had a woodworking business. I wasn’t allowed to do much, cleaning up and hammering nails straight! I watched everything that was going on though and eventually persuaded one of the staff to show me how to do joints. From then on I was smitten!
Why do you work mostly with whisky barrels?
I find the whisky barrels fascinating. I wonder about the journey they’ve been on up to this point, which whisky have they had the pleasure of holding? Some of the barrels I get are incredibly old, a whisky barrel’s working life can span more than 50 years and at first glance you might think they are only good for firewood or planters. Once they are cleaned up though they can be really beautiful. One added bonus is the lovely whisky smell in my workshop!
Tell us a bit about your workshop
I’m very lucky to have my workshop in the countryside in an old barn. There’s lots of wildlife nearby, plenty of deer and swallows in the summertime. In winter I make good use of my wood burning stove and outside I’ve got a bit of storage space. I don’t yet have a showroom for customers so any visitors have to be prepared for quite a lot of sawdust!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
All different places to be honest, it could be a film, scenery, an idea from my travels. I’m always open to and looking for new ideas. I love travelling to new places in Scotland, there's still a few distilleries I need to get to!
You make quite a variety of products, what do you enjoy making the most?
That’s a tough question! I enjoy making everything but I must admit I do love a challenge so anything that might be a bit tricky or requires a bit of thinking. I recently made 2 beautiful whisky barrel cabinets for a client which was great fun.
Do you have any work in progress that you are excited about?
Well, I’ve just completed my first whisky barrel chair!. Because barrel staves are curved it can be complicated figuring out the best way to join pieces together but I’m pleased with the overall result, it’s very comfortable too!
If you had endless money and time, what would you make?
I’d really like to do a large project. I have a design in mind for a very special board room table for a whisky company. It could be very personal to that company’s history and progress with lots of subtle detail. A table to be admired and hopefully talked about.
Where do you see your business in 5 year’s time?
I love the variety in what I do and the fact that anyone anywhere can purchase my products. My whisky barrel gifts have been sent all over the world. I will continue to develop my gift range, especially men’s accessories, continue expanding internationally and will be doing more commission furniture for those looking for something well made, different and personal to them.
Check out Ali's creations here and If you've got a challenge for Ali then contact us
Are you celebrating your 5 year anniversary this year? Finding it difficult to choose the right gift? Traditionally this milestone is marked with a gift made from wood, but how can you find something that shows your loved one just how very special they are?
In this blog post we’ll share five of our best 5 year anniversary gift ideas that will not only impress him or her with your thoughtfulness but will be treasured for years to come. To make things even easier, we’ll gift wrap for free when you tell us it’s a 5 year anniversary gift at the time of purchase. So read on to discover a great gift for your special someone.
1. Whisky glass tasting tray with Glencairn glasses - £28
Perfect for any whisky lover and a great addition to a home bar or man cave, this tasting tray comes with 2 Glencairn whisky glasses, perfect for sharing a wee dram together, Harris Tweed inserts and it can even be personalised with a special message or your anniversary date.
2. Whisky barrel pen - £24.50
A great gift for everyone, our award winning whisky barrel pens come with a velvet pouch and a certificate stating the whisky region the barrel comes from. Easy to post and can also be engraved with initials or a date.
3. Bedside organiser - £78
One of our most popular gifts for those who need to be a bit more, well, organised! This stylish organiser has space to store all life’s essentials, your phone, change, wallet or purse, watch and keys! Each piece is handcrafted and made entirely from oak scotch whisky barrel. It’s a gift they can use every day and they’ll never lose their keys again!
4. Whisky Barrel Cufflinks - £22.50
For the special man in your life, each pair is made from Oak Scotch Whisky Barrel and comes in a little gift box. A stylish gift for those who like something a bit different
5. Whisky barrel heart tea light - £15
Our stunning whisky barrel curved heart has always been a popular gift. It’s simple, but effective! You can also engrave this with a short message. Made from the stave of an Oak Scotch Whisky Barrel it comes with a red or pink tealight for that extra touch of romance.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick round up of 5 year anniversary gifts. There are lots more ideas available on our website shop.
As the annual celebration of all things Robert Burns approaches on 25th January, it’s time to recall all those poems studied at school, one of the joys of an education in Scotland! Burns of course is celebrated all over the world, so fasten your seatbelts and enjoy this whistle stop tour of Burns events near and far. I wonder what the man himself would make of all the fuss?
Regarded as one of the most international cities in the world, it is no surprise to find a Burns Extravaganza event at the Warwick Hotel on 30th January. Now in its 10th year, it promises whisky tasting, haggis, poetry, Scottish country dancing and cocktails with a tartan dress code although national costume is also acceptable!
Next stop is the fastest growing city in the world, where even the bus stops are air conditioned! Dubai’s well established Scottish association is holding a Burns Supper on 25th January with a full evening of Scottish culture and fun. There will be speeches, Dalmore whisky and some dancing into the wee small hours, all happening at the Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel. Temperatures are around 24 degrees this time of year so hope they’ve got plenty of ice!
Cape Town, South Africa
Off to even sunnier climes now, it will be a balmy 28 degrees in Cape Town on Robert Burns Day, how wonderful to celebrate Burns night in the height of summer! The biggest Burns event in Africa is held at Kelvin Grove club (named by a Glaswegian of course!) and kicks off with a Scottish gin cocktail, followed by a Grand March down the club drive into Burns night proper which is held in a Scottish themed ballroom. All are encouraged to dress in their best with a hint of tartan.
Over in Tokyo you can celebrate the legend of Robert Burns, oddly enough at the Tokyo American Club! A deluxe Burns supper is on offer with a 5 course menu, a piper, a ceilidh and an open bar with some fine whiskies to try, yes an open bar! I wonder which whiskies will be on the list!
Seattle, United States
If you are looking for something a bit different, you’ll find it in Seattle where they’re having a fusion Burns event called Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle, celebrating Robert Burns and Chinese New Year on 25th February at China Harbor Restaurant. (2018 will be the year of the dog) a blend of Chinese and Scottish culture with Lion dancers and pipers, and yes, it’s at the same time! This popular event raises money for Scottish and Chinese youth arts projects.
Back home to Glasgow and a Burns event celebrating human equality, kinship and conviviality, just some of the values Burns held dear. Organised by BEMIS (this will be a grand scale multicultural ceilidh at The Old Fruit market and organised as part of Celtic Connections music festival.
As you can see, there’s more than one way to celebrate our national poet, however you choose to celebrate we hope you have a wonderful time, remember, Freedom and Whisky gang the gither!