News: Steaming Ahead
When your customers are people like Brad Pitt, Madonna and Tommy Hilfiger, it might be easy to get carried away.
Not so with Tom Raffield, the supremely gifted designer, maker and entrepreneur. Tom started, quite literally, bending the boundaries of what's possible during his time at Falmouth and has continued to blaze a trail of innovative, sustainable design ever since.
He makes lights, lamps and furniture come alive with his wood-bending magic and his iconic designs are sought after from every corner of the globe. His work is infused with passion, innovation and skill, all picked up during his time studying 3D Design for Sustainability (now Sustainable Product Design).
"My aim is to innovate with everything I do. And design through making is fundamental to innovation," he says. "I picked up this passion while at Falmouth and try to never lose sight of it."
Tom's potent blend of design, vision and craft took flight in his second year at university when he started bending wood through steam, discovering ancient techniques, refining them and taking them to the next level. Little did he know how far he'd go with it.
Nearly a decade later, he's honed these techniques to an artform, so much so, he and his wife built their house out of steam-bent wood. The result is breathtaking and was featured on the hit Channel 4 show Grand Designs, with Kevin McCloud calling it a masterpiece and the summation of Tom's life's work.
With celebrity clients, a partnership with John Lewis and a thriving business, Tom continues to drive himself and his work forward, still pushing the boundaries and not being prepared to settle for anything less than excellence.
"We now employ 30 people, have a mini-factory and a six acre woodland," he adds. "But in a way, nothing has changed for me, I'm learning everyday, I'm doing what I love and I'm trying to do the best job I can. And it all started at Falmouth."
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