SIMON PARSONS’ infatuation with timber started aged six when his grandfather gave him wood offcuts from his carpentry job at Windsor Castle.
His grandfather then made him a kid’s toolset, and the youngster soon preferred making to playing.
“I wouldn’t play games like everyone else,” the Attadale local recalls.
A passion for woodwork never left him, and when his father suggested he do a furniture design and craftsmanship degree at Buckinghamshire College, Mr Parsons jumped at it.
“I was lucky to do that. I just love building with wood and would have been happy to be a carpenter.”
While he respected furniture makers of old, it was contemporary designs that really got his juices flowing.
“I like mid-century modern,” Mr Parsons says.
After graduating in 1992 and developing a “signature” style, he held his first furniture exhibition in Mayfair, London. After immigrating to Australia a few years later, Mr Parsons fell in love with WA timber and established SP Furniture in O’Connor, creating aesthetically pleasing pieces that are also functional.
Almost all of his furniture is made from recycled, locally grown timber, including a beautiful lemon-scented gum altar piece.
Mr Parsons designed and made the bedroom suite for the chief guest quarters in WA Government House, and his furniture can be found in the boardrooms of major companies like Woodside.
He’s won two national awards and has been featured in Vogue Living, Homes and Living, SCOOP and other lifestyle magazines. He’s also held exhibitions at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Margaret River Art Gallery, and Bungendore Woodworks Gallery in NSW.
Mr Parsons’ latest exhibition is at Gallows Gallery, Glyde Street Mosman Park, September 5-29.
On at the same time is an exhibition by award-winning photographer Nigel Gaunt, a founding member of the Fremantle Centre for Creative Photography.
by JENNY D’ANGER
3 Pritchard St, O’Connor