March 23rd, 2018
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