Zoe Bing explores the Glasgow and London-based hand-made luxury furniture manufacturer Edera Bespoke
The smell of beeswax and the joy of a perfectly executed mortice and tenon joint; pretty unusual in this day and age of flat-packed furniture, but not unheard of. One is unlikely, however, to come across bespoke craftwork of the outstanding quality of the Edera Bespoke Furniture.
Edera’s award-winning Creative Director, Michael Mancini (see right) left school, aged seventeen, to follow his passion for woodworking, taking up an apprenticeship at a renowned furniture restorers in Ayr.
“I loved the grain and tactile quality of wood. To me, different kinds of wood had different personalities and it was fascinating to watch it evolve into a thing of beauty. There was no question that this was what I wanted to do”
That initial apprenticeship has served Michael well. Over the intervening years he has worked for a series of “high end” furniture makers, eventually managing furniture workshops and dealing with an international clientele.
“It was a great learning curve, but in my heart I had a strong creative vision and I was determined to follow that through. I come from an Italian-Scottish family and that’s a potent combination. I grew up loving great design with a good dollop of Scots determination thrown in.”
These days, although Michael was initially a cabinetmaker of some renown, his input is very much design based. What sets his work apart is the blend of his eye for design, and his ability to translate that into a beautiful finished piece.
“In the past, I have gone down the road of completing all aspects of the business, but I ultimately realised that to do justice to the design element, I needed creative space. So I decided to use my reputation as a designer to full effect and to employ a team of carefully selected craftsmen from furniture making strongholds to craft the furniture”
Edera Bespoke Furniture now has a growing clientele of interior designers and private clients keen to avail themselves of the antiques of the future. Michael believes it’s vital to spend as much quality time as possible with the customer so that he can get a feel for what kind of materials they want to use, what part the furniture will play in their lives.
“If you asked what my favourite commission was, I would struggle as it’s the variety of the challenges that excites me the most. There is something very intimate about being asked to create something uniquely personal to the client and their surroundings. I have been asked to create everything from a small pencil box all the way to a dining table for eighteen and I work in every conceivable style from traditional to cutting edge contemporary”
And there is no sign of Edera Bespoke furniture standing still. Michael has plans to open select concessions in shops, first around the UK, and later around Europe. Furthermore, having concentrated on the “couture” side of the business, producing bespoke one off masterpieces, he believes there is another element to the quality furniture market which might be more accessible for all.
“I would never want to mass produce my work, especially if it meant compromising on the quality, but I would love to produce a limited number of pieces in a variety of different materials and sizes. Good design, after all is something we can all benefit from”.
Edera Bespoke – How and Where?
Glasgow: 20 Woodside Place, Glasgow, G3 7QF
Tel: 0141 538 1970
London: 134 Lots Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0RJ
Tel: 020 7099 6034
About Zoe Bing