Nathan Clarke is a Toronto-based furniture maker and designer. He is a graduate of the Furniture – Craft+Design program at Sheridan College. His work has garnered him attention leading to several awards as well as press during events like the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. He has exhibited in and around Toronto, as well as in the US.
His interest in furniture design began with his introduction to woodworking as a child, where his affinity for working with his hands always kept him in the woodshop. It was at Sheridan that he developed as a designer as he became enamoured with the ability to turn his ideas into tangible objects.
Nathan has always looked to immerse himself in community, whether it is the connections he has made at Sheridan and in Toronto or the larger crafts and design culture he is currently navigating throughout North America.
At the heart of my work is a fascination with human interaction. My curiosity as a furniture designer is sparked by our emotional and physical responses to everyday objects: the table we ritually gather around for meals, the chair we sink into after a long day, or the mug that we instinctively reach for first. An important object should be suggestive of more than just its material components. I want to engage people in deeper conversation about these objects by creating both well-made and accessible pieces. It is through this on-going dialogue that I promote purposeful object ownership.
My work embodies a reverence for skilled craftsmanship and contemporary design. It straddles the divide between tradition and modernity, mediating the union of past and present. I use time-tested techniques in woodworking to complement my growing curiosity in digital fabrication. The minimal forms and efficient construction of my designs stem from a vision of clarity and accessibility; design that doesn’t overpower its audience, furniture that supplements its environment. I want my work to endure amidst a disposable culture, remaining purposeful for generations. Through the supportive character of my design, my work offers a human touch to our material world.