Inspired by nature and the people that surround him, Canadian designer Loïc Bard, who specialises in the art of woodturning, creates minimalistic and sophisticated furniture products fit for the home and the office. We caught up with the designer to find out more about his practice and the inspiration behind his latest Bone collection.
OnOffice: How did you first get into design and, in particular, woodwork?
Loïc Bard: I finished studying at an art and woodworking school in Montreal six years ago, and I went on to start my studio just after the summer in 2012. I always liked manual activities, as well as building and experimenting with the process of an object.
When I was young, I spent my time between working on the family farm and a very small woodworking shop in a little village in France.
OnOffice: Run me through your creative process – how do you get from the initial concept to the design?
Loïc Bard:I am mostly inspired by nature, organic forms and the people around me. I start to draw random shapes with no particular finality about the object that it will be. After drawing shapes, I then like to build small models with paper or wood and explore how I can use the form for an object.
OnOffice: What’s the main inspiration behind the Bone collection?
Loïc Bard:Two years ago, I worked on a project for the botanical garden in Montreal. The brief was to develop an object that would help people with visual impairment to plant seeds. So I thought it would be interesting to explore the sense of touch; I concentrated on small stools or benches that were easy to feel and carry. For some stools in the collection I added references to my memories from when I was working on the family farm. For other stools, I added references to the people around me.
OnOffice: How was the Chair Bone constructed and put together – was it a simple method?
Loïc Bard:I used a woodworking method, which includes assembly and techniques like woodturning. Even though it looks minimal, it’s always a long process, especially when it comes to round shapes. I like to concentrate on small details, small curves and proportions that make the object special and unique.
The finish I use is wood burning – it’s a technique mostly used in Japanese architecture to protect the wood. The process of burning the wood is quite long because I try to control the burning on the surface, avoiding cracking too much of the wood.
OnOffice: What are your plans for the near future; do you have any major projects or collaborations to keep an eye on?
Loïc Bard:I’m currently working on some shelves, in collaboration with the designer Rad Hourani, who lived in Paris and has a gallery in Montreal. At the end of September, we will show this collaboration in his gallery in the old port of Montreal.
I am purposefully making the shelves to be more like an art installation, to show the latest photography work of Hourani that explores the nudity and the neutrality of the human trait.
Read more from our Seating Special here.
Seating Special: For his Bone collection Loïc Bard has devised a range of subtle wooden forms that are easy to feel and carry