Evostyle’s Luke Ommundson describes one of his career highlights as manufacturing all 17,000 Olympic Torches for the Athens Olympics in 2004.
June 4th, 2013
Inspired by an olive leaf, the 2004 Olympic Torch’s simple design is generally considered to be one of the most memorable and elegant to date.
Simpler designs such as the torch can be the most technically difficult to make. Imperfections cannot be masked and this is the true test of the skill of the craftsman and integrity of the materials. Exceptional quality underpins all of Evostyle’s work. By keeping this at the core, Ommundson takes the discipline of traditional craftsmanship and techniques and pushes the boundaries of manufacturing and timber production.
The result is furniture that you can be confident is of the highest quality, while challenging preconceived notions of the capabilities of wood. Evostyle’s Metric Range (pictured) is a perfect example. Created from American hard maple, the range is “complex to make yet simple in concept” says Ommundson.
When sourcing materials, Ommundson looks for timbers which can showcase and enhance Evostyle’s workmanship. He only uses timbers that are sourced sustainably.“Our biggest challenge is the general acceptance of cheap, poor quality products” he says. “It makes good quality, ethically and sustainably produced products seem overpriced”. Ommundson acknowledges that not everyone is aware of which woods are legal and sustainable, nor those which will be better to work with or more suitable for a particular machine, “We try and give people that knowledge by suggesting material choices when they order a product by explaining the advantages. For example, we were asked to make 40 tables for a hotel in Sydney out of pine but we have persuaded the client to use American ash instead. We explained they will not only get a much better looking product, but the tables will be stronger and more durable. There is an advantage for us as well because even though ash is more expensive than say pine, labour costs are reduced because ash is so beautiful to machine and work with”.
American hardwoods are Evostyle’s predominant choice, fulfilling the criteria of being environmentally sensitive, as they are sourced only from forests with a long and proven record of sustainable management. The consistency of colour and grain, stability and durability of many US hardwood species, and ease with which they can be machined also make timbers such as American ash a regular recommendation of Ommundson.
Ommundson is constantly complimented on the high quality of Evostyle’s work and their adventurous design. In an age where less than perfect is often acceptable, to be considered the gold standard is a considerable achievement.
Olympic Torch 2004 – image courtesy of Evostyle
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