The art of furniture as art

FRED Baier is not a household name, but for those interested in cutting edge furniture design –  the point at which function is almost secondary to art, he is one of the most exciting and creative makers in the world. And he lives and works in Wiltshire.

Described by historian and curator Glenn Adamson as “the most interesting British furniture maker of his generation,” Baier designed this beautiful piece, selected as the Work of the Week at the New Art Centre at Roche Court, at Winterslow near Salisbury.

Pyramid Chair I and Pyramid Chair II were made in 2014, but were originally designed in 1978/9. They are made in solid sycamore, laminated plywood, stained Bolivar and lacquer.

A self described ‘furniture artist’, Baier has his studio and workshop at Pewsey. In an interview on his website., he says: “In everything I make there are all sorts of different layers – imagery, narrative, structure and use.”

He says he tries “to be a man of my time. I try to make new objects that are synonymous with the now and that contribute to the look of the moment.

“I would like someone to be able to look at an object I made in, say, the 1990s and be able to tell immediately that it is a 90s piece – in the same way that the mini skirt is very 1960s. I don’t believe that objects can be timeless and I am forever changing my approach and my influences so the look of my objects moves on.”

Fred Baier graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1975. He has taught at Brighton University, the Royal College of Art, and Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. Baier has apprenticed in his studio a whole new generation of furniture designers; and has designed and made work for many private clients around the world.

His work is museum quality and there are many pieces in national and international public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Brighton Museums, Birmingham Museums and Art Galler and Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, USA.

Roche Court Sculpture Park remains open. Booking is essential; email