We catch up with Conor of Foresso, a full time member and Makerversity material maestro.
Hi Conor can you tell us a bit about Foresso?
Foresso is a material that I’ve been developing for the last year and a half, it’s an alternative to terrazzo that uses high quality British timber instead of stone or marble. I used to work in carpentry and specialist finishing workshops and ended up hoarding all these offcuts of great timber and wanted to use them for something so just let the idea stew for a bit and then started experimenting. It’s been a long road with thousands of samples and a lot of trial and error but I’ve just finished the photography campaign for my first collections. I’m really happy with how it has turned out and was lucky to work with some great people along the way.My aim from the start was to produce a beautiful material that most importantly is fit for purpose. It’s hard wearing and versatile and already proving popular for all sorts of surfaces.
What can we expect to see from you next?
Foresso is at a really good point so I’m starting some other projects, including a few great commissions, I’ve got a some of ideas for artwork and furniture but my main aim this year is to make something very big. I’m not quite sure what yet but I want it to be semi-architectural or large scale sculpture. Perhaps a pavilion or memorial.I’m always on the look out for interior projects and hope to collaborate on a pop-up or other smallish project.
I grew up in London and love the city so coming to Somerset House every day to work as well as having access to the workshops here is wonderful. Not to mention that being part of the vibrant community here is very motivating, you learn a lot from being amongst such diverse people and companies.
If you were to give one piece of advice to a young person who doesn’t have a clear direction, what would it be?
Just try stuff out, it’s ok to decide that something isn’t for you and go in a new direction. Take on everything that comes your way and think about what was good or bad about it as well as how you might have done it differently. Use even very short experiences to inform your decisions.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’ve never held a proper job and I don’t think I’m cut out for much else. Ideally I’d be living somewhere warm and mediterranean growing my own food, fishing and making things when I felt like it.
Who are your heroes?
Interdisciplinary artists and designers like Olafur Elliason, Thomas Heatherwick and Max Lamb. I really enjoy their approach to design as one field rather than splitting it into lots of tiny specialisms. Their approaches to materials and forms are so effective and deceptively simple, they’re also not afraid to take risks to push the boundaries of what they are making.
Mies van der Rohe has been of great inspiration to me as well, seeing the Barcelona Pavilion for the first time was eye opening. My sources and references are very eclectic and I try to keep things fresh by frequently going to London’s great art and design resources like the V&A or Courtauld Gallery library. Often it’s not with a specific project in mind but just to sketch or write.
Find more of Foresso at foresso.co.uk.