It all started one rainy day in 1995, after two months of being in Barcelona. It was pouring down and a friend and I were seeking shelter from what felt like a monsoon. We found ourselves on Calle Avinyo and dived into Zeta Futon for cover. The shop was filled with contemporary furniture and lamps of all different materials, shapes and sizes, made by local artisans. It was a light bulb moment; I wanted to be a furniture designer and maker.
After having left Sheffield Hallam University in 1994 with a degree in International Business, I spent a year working in Italy before moving to Barcelona to teach English. Seeking a new career direction that I could be passionate about, I had come to the city hoping to be inspired by its air of creativity. Having found such inspiration so early on, the next six years were spent passionately pursuing the goal of being a top furniture designer-maker.
During the early years, my spare time was spent restoring and transforming discarded pieces of furniture and making lamps in my tiny 2×2 m home workshop. My self-taught woodworking skills were supplemented by specialised courses in marquetry and carving before deciding to study Art and Design.
Having completed various projects for bars and restaurants as well as private clients in both Barcelona and Ibiza, I felt that in order to be able to interpret the more complex wishes of my clients I would need to train further.
I decided to return to Britain in 2002 to study and gain more work experience. With excellence being my objective, I chose to train with David Savage for a year in one of the best workshops in Britain. On completing the course I was selected by world-class Silver Lining Workshops to work as a cabinet-maker and after gaining a year´s experience with them, decided to set up my own company in Manchester. Since 2018 my work has diversified, with a greater focus on objects that are purely decorative and in particular the use of cold cast bronze as a technique to create sculptures.
What really excites me about my work is turning the intangible into finished pieces, whether furniture, wall art or sculpture. I love the whole process; from dreaming up the initial ideas to engrossing myself in the meditative making process and of course delivering the finished piece to a satisfied client.
David Tragen’s work has appeared in the following publications:
|Furniture and Cabinet making||August 2013|
|Manchester Evening News||October 2009, May ’13|
|Lancashire Life||May 2013|
|“500 Cabinets”||Published 2010|
|Craftsman craft and design magazine||September 2009|
|Woodworker’s Technique Bible||Published July 2009|
|Moving House||January 2008|
|Concept For Living||Sept. 2007, Oct. ’07, Sept. ’08|
|Antiques Trade Gazette||August 2007|
|“Bespoke – Source book of furniture designer makers”||Published August 2007|
|Manchester Creative Annual||2007|
|“Furniture Today”||Published 2006|
|Creative Times||May 2006, Apr. ’07, Dec. ’08|