By Nathalie Banaigs, Kent Creative
Simon Jewell lives in Faversham where he makes unique decorative boxes using hand cut marquetry and innovative inlay techniques. He also makes bespoke fine furniture of all kinds, clocks, wall hangings, dishes and other decorative items, all executed to the highest standards using carefully selected combinations of woods for maximum decorative effect.
Simon grew up in Portsmouth and came to Kent to study physics with astrophysics in Canterbury between 1986 and 1989. In 1993, he completed a PhD in X-ray astronomy and high energy astrophysics in Birmingham. He then decided on a career change, came back to Kent and ended up helping an architect friend with building work. Having access to his workshop allowed him to play around with leftover wood. He enjoyed the joinery work so much that he started making furniture as a hobby. The creation of an item that can be used daily gave him a great deal of satisfaction so he continued and never stopped.
Simon says about his creative process: “It's really just a case that I like making things, and the natural variation in wood means that I never run out of possibilities. I have no formal design training so I have no fixed process when I am making. It can be an idea from a glimpse of a picture, something that pops into my head fully formed, or just arising from seeing what I can make with a particular plank of beautiful timber or bundle of exquisite veneer.
I've always got ideas to get around to, with some particularly ambitious boxes on the cards, using new decorative techniques I'm playing with at the moment, based on Japanese lacquer work.
I am concentrating more and more on boxes and smaller furniture and really enjoying the demands that makes on me as a designer.”