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Tom Vaughan (born 1976) is a British designer and maker based in East London. He started his training in traditional cabinet making at the London College of Furniture, then studying 3D design at the University of Brighton, followed by an MA in product design at the Royal College of Art. It was here that his interest in converging traditional craftsmanship techniques with contemporary digital design and manufacturing processes was born.
His dynamic workshop, Object Studio, was founded on this creative vision, aiming to be a place of experimentation, exploring complex forms and pushing materials or processes to their limits. Through constant innovation, Vaughan and his small team of highly skilled craftspeople work on commissions for institutions, galleries and private clients to create complex works in wood, metals and plastics. Taking inspiration from artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and designers such as Ron Arad and Marc Newson, the furniture created in Object Studio is often abstract, but inherently connected to a history of traditional sculpture and craftsmanship.
Bringing a design education to the workshop and manufacturing knowledge to the studio, Vaughan emphasises total synergy and depth of understanding of process-led design. Concerned with movement and flow, he considers his work as functional sculpture. The tactile quality is an important aspect of this, and he encourages direct contact with the individual pieces in order to enjoy the look and feel of them. The expertly crafted objects made at Object Studio ultimately explore the intersection between naturalism and abstraction, traditional and contemporary.
This pursuit of experimentation and highly skilled practice has recently led Vaughan to reinvest and collaborate with the wider craft and design community. Most recently, his craftsmanship was recognised through an award from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, in response to his investigation of new techniques.
The works on display at Mayfair Gallery for London Craft Week highlight this expert design and craftsmanship of Object Studio, representing Vaughan’s exploration of exciting new design and manufacturing processes.