Ipswich furniture maker Tim Germain delights all ages with natural beauty of wood
Ipswich furniture designer and maker Tim Germain is working his magic, with natural wood.
He is a craftsman who turns rescued wood, including local trees lost to high winds, into classic furniture of the future.
My own woodworking skills are a bit limited but I can appreciate the work of a true craftsman.
Tim Germain is one of those talented people, able to visualise the possibilities and to transform wood, oak, elm and other woods, into beautiful individual pieces of furniture.
deliI bumped into his work, almost literally, at the new Quay Place centre in Ipswich Waterfront, which is run by the Suffolk MIND charity.
Tim’s work can be seen across the town, in places as diverse the Two Rivers Medical Centre and in Holywells Park, where he used oak salvaged from trees fallen in the park.
He divides his time between making furniture for private clients, for businesses and more public pieces, such as in Quay Place, the new name for the former Waterfront church.
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He said: “I make anything and everything, apart from chairs; they are better made in a factory.”
He broke off from making wardrobes for one regular private client, and has a dining table also coming together in his workshop.
In Quay Place, he has provided café tables and, my favourite, a railway play table of the Wet Dock area.
“It is based on the Wet Dock railways of 1850,” he said. “I know the area well, I only live half a mile away.”
The play table is just the right size for Brio toys, and for small people to stand alongside it.
Tim has also made a display board - showing off some of Des Pawson’s historic maritime knots, and outside benches for the courtyard garden.
Tim said Quay Place is a marvel. “It is an absolutely stunning place. It is always nice to do something a bit different, and out of the ordinary.”
At Holywells Park he suggested fallen trees should be harvested and turned into planks for use in restoration and furniture making.
“Quite a lot of things I have made, for Two Rivers and Holywells Park and Quay Place are made out of trees that have fallen down in Holywells Park. Local oak for local furniture by local people!
“It has not come in on a boat from China. There is the potential for more things to be made locally. When you employ local people the money also stays in the local economy.”
Tim, who grew up in Ipswich, worked as a translator and language teacher in Barcelona for many years before returning to his home town to study furniture making at Suffolk College with Mike Staff.
Initially the plan was to return to Spain, he said, but he began finding customers and making pieces, and so has remained in his home town.