David left Sheffield Hallam University in 1994 with a degree in International Business, but still searching for a career he would be passionate about. Following a TEFL qualification he moved back to Italy and a year later relocated in Barcelona.
He had come to the city hoping to be inspired by its air of creativity and within months was restoring and transforming furniture found on the streets as well as making lamps. It soon became apparent that this was where his passion lay and the following six years were spent retraining. His self taught woodworking skills were supplemented by specialised courses in marquetry and carving before deciding to study Art and Design. Having completed various projects for bars and restaurants as well as private clients in both Barcelona and Ibiza David felt that in order to be able to interpret the more complex wishes of his clients he would need to train further.
He decided to return to Britain in 2002 to study and gain more work experience. With excellence being his objective, he chose to train with David Savage for a year in one of the best workshops in Britain. On completing the course he was selected by world-class Silver Lining Workshops to work as a cabinet-maker and after gaining a year´s experience with them, he decided to set up on his own.
His clients, both corporate and private, include Manchester Grammar School, Menorah Synagogue and a Manchester United legend. His work has been published in the books “Bespoke”, “500 cabinets” and “The woodworker’s technique bible” and he recently received the award for the “Best new maker” at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.
David Tragen creates bespoke and limited edition handmade furniture combining original designs with meticulous craftsmanship.Award-winning David's journey as a designer–maker began in Barcelona in 1996 where he trained before returning to the UK in 2002. Running his own business since 2004, his clients have spread from Manchester and Cheshire to the rest of the UK and overseas. Inspiration for designs comes from manmade and natural sources which results in a style which ranges from minimalism to more complex, sculptural forms. The use of contrasting materials, gentle curves and the visual interplay between mass and void can be seen in many of the projects. David latest work, the Strata range, focuses on using a series of layers to create a sense of movement, characterised in the coffee tables Beating Wings and Sidewinder.
“What really excites me about my work is interpreting my clients’ ideas and turning the intangible into finished pieces of furniture. I love the whole process from sketching the initial ideas to seeing the shavings coming off my hand-plane and of course delivering the finished piece to a satisfied client. To be able to make one’s living designing and working in wood, is truly a privilege.”