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Angus Ross

harnesses the incredible tensile strength of timber

The Maker

Angus Ross is a designer-maker based in the Scottish Highlands and sourcing timber from an ancient broadleaf woodland to make curvaceous furniture. Angus and his small team fell, mill and season wood as part of a sustainable forestry management plan. He has an experimental approach, exploring and innovating wood work technology and specialising in the ancient art of steam-bending. Most work is bespoke for private clients across the globe, but there are many site-specific functional art installations for public spaces throughout Britain and two micro-batch production ranges.

The Object: Unstable Stool, first designed and made in 2005

50 x 50 x 50 cm. Local sustainable solid oak or ash wood, with various oiled finishes. £880

The Making

The idea of a rocking stool evolved in Angus’s mind whilst he was steam-bending components for another commission. He aimed to create a simple ergonomic stool, enabling the user to lean forwards with a straight spine whilst sitting at a table or desk. Facilitating movement and engaging core muscles improves seated posture. The design was developed and refined between 2005 and 2008, and has remained the same since then. The stool is micro-batch produced in the workshop, usually as a batch of 5, up to a few times a year. The asymmetric rockers are steam-bent over a ‘former’. The rocker ends are round-tenoned through the seat, and wedged for both strength and beauty. The rockers are linked with lathe-turned stretchers, through-tenoned and wedged. The curved seat is stack-laminated, moulded and then hand shaped.


Short-listed for The Wood Awards UK in 2008. Commissioned by V&A Dundee for Scottish Design Gallery and Inverness Museum; sold by Contemporary Applied Arts, London. Micro-batch production for private collectors.

Angus Ross on his Signature Style

‘There is an apparent simplicity to the stool but it is actually sophisticated in use and construction. It reflects my fascination with the interaction between a user and a piece of furniture. The material is local greenwood (not kiln dried, therefore less processing, and less transport so lower carbon) and uses “small section timber” i.e. narrower pieces that are normally disregarded for fine furniture making and encouraging good management of native woodland. The design harnesses the incredible tensile strength of timber and demonstrates innovation with a combination of ancient, traditional and contemporary processes. It is the first rocking stool and has been widely exhibited and published.’

Expert Eye

A playful yet deceptively sophisticated stool in concept, manufacture and function with exceptional eco credentials from woodland to end user. Jason Heap (A Celebration of Craftsmanship)