Meeting Hurstpierpoint furniture maker Mark Heeler


- Credit: Archant

I was always a practical person from a young age,” says Mark Heeler. “Making things was all I did and still do now.” Mark decided to become a furniture maker at the age of 16. “I decided that it was the job for me and have stuck to that goal ever since.”

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing, Mark admits. “Furniture making is hard work and you will probably need to put in a lot of overtime to make it successful, but it can be very rewarding.”

Of all the pieces he has ever created he names the Partner’s Desk as a favourite. “I enjoy the complexity of the joints and construction, and I also like the proportions of the design.”

Mark has always lived and worked in Sussex, and says that he gets his inspiration from “materials, textures and shapes, although so far in my career I have mostly been inspired by my clients’ great ideas.”

When he’s approached by a client, Mark says the first thing that he does is to “go back to the drawing board and put their ideas on paper.” Following on from that is the design, construction and completion. “I class completion as when the furniture is in a photogenic state,” says Mark. “And class the job as complete when I have photos of the work created.”

Generally he doesn’t keep his work as most of the pieces are commissions from clients. “But recently,” he says, “I have created some furniture that recreates inanimate metal objects into artistic pieces of furniture. I am reluctant to sell these items as the materials used to make them are hard to come by and I have grown very attached to them.”

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