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Interview with Art Engineer Lee Rowland

By Goedekershomelife @goedekers

ripple table

You may have seen one of Lee Rowland’s stunning Ripple tables before in a collection of other artfully designed furniture pieces. However, Lee’s portfolio contains many more impressive creations than just this! He’s been designing and producing a variety of projects for years. While he’s shifted from doing the hand forging and construction himself to guiding others in completing his designs, his life is still fill of artistic vision.

I had the opportunity to chat with Lee a little about his design work and most interest pieces.

How long have you been designing these fascinating creations through what you call “art engineering”? 

I started manufacturing as an apprentice aircraft engineer around 1990.

How have you grown as an artist since you started?

I actually used to love being involved intimately with the manufacturing of my own visions, but now the passion has diminished as I realize to be successful commercially you have to delegate the work out to other manufacturers whilst strictly supervising the process. This I feel is a major change for me.

table design

Why does freeform creation appeal to you?

I can’t paint freehand or draw that easily. I maybe could if I put my mind to it, but my methods involve jigs, tools, guides, and a range of techniques that rely solely on transferring the precision of those tools onto the materials I am using to create an effect or product. Painting a portrait, for example, uses nothing but the eye and hand of the artist – something I hold in awe!

watch table design

I have seen a lot of press coverage about your first Ripple table, your Pipeline One, and your gold watch table, but you have several other creations besides those. What would you say are your personal favorites?

The ripple tables are probably my favorites actually, but I recently made a convertible poker dining table for a high profile client called Jez San. It took years to develop and finish but is truly awesome as a design product; you can see this on my site.

There is a lot of variety in your creations – from eye-catching furniture to fashion pieces, and even your own customized coins. What do you enjoy making the most?

It’s a difficult question to answer! My enjoyment now comes from teaching people with zero workshop experience how to design and manufacture gallery quality jewelry on just two hours. They do 99% of the work themselves!

poker table design

Are all of your creations featured on your website? If not, how do you decide what to include?

The website is actually 6 years old and hasn’t really been updated much, but what’s on there are just very strong dramatic products from my complete range. I chose them because I think it represents my best work.

What is one of the most interesting commissions you’ve been asking to complete?

A pair of dagger shoe heels, and the poker table I think.

dagger shoes design

What inspires you?

Materials, technology, and finishing. And, a little more unlikely, healing and medicine!

What are your plans for the future?

To develop my business using other manufacturers to create my dream products.

I would like to thank Lee for agreeing to be interviewed. If you want to check out what he believes is a selection of his best work, click here to visit his website.

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