We asked Alex Adgar, the main man himself at Tormar, a quick fire round of questions. Find out if he would like to travel back in time or in to the future. Read on...
1. What is behind the name Tormar
Its the amalgamation of my children’s names - Hector (TOR) and Margot (MAR), I wanted it to have a personal reasoning behind the name and what’s better than having the two most inspiring little adults behind the name! They are both really proud that they are part of the business too.
2. What came first the beds, the stools or the chopping boards?
Well it has to be the beds. It’s the place we spend almost a third of our lives in so seemed like the obvious starting point. I also worked with the inspiring Molly Freshwater at the Iron Bed Company in the 90’s whilst I was at Uni studying fine art. We stayed in touch and I followed Molly through her journey of setting up The Secret Linen Store. She approached me last year to see if I would design a few beds for their photo shoot, which you could say triggered the start of this new chapter deciding that it was a now or never thing to launch Tormar! The stools and chopping boards evolved to offer customers cheaper price points to be able to buy into the brand. There are a few other pieces that I have in mind, but I guess that’s the life of a creator, always designing!
3. Whats you biggest style influences?
It comes from a fusion of the the all time great design styles such as Shaker, Scandi and Japanese designs. I like to produce simplistic but functional pieces but always lean towards these styles as a basis for inspiration. As an artist I take big influence also on the natural form of the materials used and try and work along side nature as best way possible.
4. What comes first the materials or the design?
It has to be design function over form. The key is for a piece to be fit for purpose, and when this is well thought out the design will naturally be good, in line with Louis Sullivan's ethos that form always follows function. Having said that, if I happen to come across an exceptional piece of timber that might be just too good for the job in hand, I’ll save it until the potential can be released.
5. How do you work in a sustainable way?
Our craftspeople cleverly cut the materials to prevent waste. All the materials are sustainably sourced and tracked. Every piece we produce must be repeatable - not by conveyer belts but by our craftspeople. Not for the sake of efficiency, but for the sake of our planet. We minimise waste by cutting cleverly, sourcing responsibly, and creating thoughtfully. I sound like Greta Thunberg! But it's super important to me and something that I wanted to put into the ethos of Tormar.
6. What part of the process excites you the most?
There are a couple of things that really are exciting when you are creating. The main one is when you are realising a design problem and seeing how this evolves and fits the design brief. This is especially so when all the materials all come together in a harmonised way, all the elements, the wood, the fabrics and how they work together.
The ultimate goal and the thing that is super satisfying is comments from customer and how the products are benefitting them! Thats the goal!
7. From all your pieces what is your favourite and why?
OMG that’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! I love them all. But I have to say the Mona Bed is top for me as it has a little bit of everything, its a classic bed frame and has the ultimate finishing of materials…. But then the Abington or Burleigh are also up there as a classic bedroom set. See I just can’t pick!
8. If you wasn’t a furniture designer and maker what would you have liked to be?
An Artist - that is my long term goal when I retire!
9. Who’s your favourite music artist?
This is a tough question and it really does depend on my mood… on my playlist at the moment is M83, Sleaford Mods, Band of Horses, Hot Chip, London Grammar, Metronomy, Minor Victories, Radiohead…….. Shall I stop there?
10. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
South of France with a glass of wine, painting…. I haven’t thought about this much have I ha!
11. What was the last show you binge-watched?
12. If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future?
Probably the past and see what life was like in the Good Old Days when things were simple!
Its been interesting finding out who the bloke is behind Tormar!