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Wednesday 7 January 2015

Bright Old Things - Den Woods

Den Woods

Was: Actress
Is now: Furniture designer / Actress

At the age of 57, Den Woods decided to start a new vocation alongside her work as an actress: namely, making chairs. Den has carefully selected a team of expert artisans to realise her creation, allowing her to have total control over the chairs' unique design. Every element involves traditional skills and a keen eye for design. Read more…The chairs are created with whole 'butts' of leather in their natural colour, which darken as they age. 18 months in development, these original designs are developing into a distinctive range, including matching footstools.

How did your change in career come about?
As a mostly resting actor, I have lots of free time in which to do other things. With the money given to me after my dad's death, I decided to make my first chair. I quickly became obsessed with the whole project, delighted in learning about woods and leather. Luckily I had the opportunity to fully explore and expand my ideas.

What inspires your designs?
Traditional Spanish and Portuguese chairs dating back to the 16th century inspire my designs. It is integral that they are made in the arts and crafts tradition, where no undue effort should be made to disguise materials or construction. I love their simplicity.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a new career in his or her later life?
My advice to anyone wanting to start a new career in later life is to do something you love doing and to create a working practice and environment you enjoy being in. Show less…

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Den’s beautifully-crafted chairs are custom made and are available to order at Selfridges London or via Den’s website.

Todd Selby's Illustrated Interview

Fun, quirky and thoroughly charming, Todd Selby's illustrated Q&A offers up a unique insight into the mind of our Bright Old Thing.

Interview image