Golden Fleece Award 2017

John Lee

John Lee

Golden Fleece Award

John Lee graduated from the Furniture College, GMIT Letterfrack, in 1993 and now lives and works in his native Meath. He is a third-generation cabinetmaker and his bespoke furniture is inspired by naturally occurring geometric forms and the effects of weathering and erosion.

He makes exquisite one-off pieces that explore the enhancement of timber’s natural properties whilst experimenting with form, function and finish. The geneses of many concepts have been conceived in the rugged beauty of the Irish landscape and he aims to make sensually appealing work, investigating textured finishes by exposing the timber’s natural grain patterns on free-flowing dynamic forms. His work often features contrasting smooth and textured surfaces and has used an innovative reconstruction process to bend the grain so that it follows the form of the work. Careful attention is paid to the scale, proportion and refinement of each piece: he aspires for design and craftsmanship to become seamless while remaining true to the materials he works with. His work tests the boundaries of furniture design and fine art.

John Lee applied for a Golden Fleece Award in order to allow him to take a step back from the private client commissions that fund the commercial side of his practice and move towards developing a new body of work suitable for exhibition in Ireland and abroad. This could be done without the usual constraints of defined spaces and budgets, enabling him to hone his personal vision.