Makers in Focus: mid century design captured by Joachim King

Mid century design is given a modern twist by one of the most sought-after designers at Artisan Alchemy. Joachim King comes from a long line of craftsmen… his Finnish ancestors were boat builders. His grandfather’s family were renowned in the Finnish archipelago around Porvoo for their wooden boatbuilding. They lived on an island which at the time was inaccessible by car and everyone needed a boat. Fishing vessels were common around the local area: each boat was tailored to its customer, who would often come and muck in on the builds. Before the days of outboards the finished crafts were often rowed along the coast to be delivered. It is this practical design heritage that underpins his work today.mid century inflluence of Joachim King

Mid century influence

Joachim designs contemporary fine furniture, interiors, office spaces and lighting, much of it with a nod to mid century classics. You’ll see the clean curves and stripped-back elegance of Alvar Aalto combined with the playful functionality of Verner Paton. Joachim is clearly also aware of the current minimalist revival. You can see hints of Kofod-Larsen, G Plan and Uniflex in his sideboards and dining chairs. These are pieces that invite modern, flexible living, with their pared-down function and absence of design clutter. In Joachim King’s designs, modern-day principles of bespoke fine furniture meet the adventurous ‘anything goes’ spirit of the 1960s. The technical progress and adventurous energy of the decade that brought us the moon landings, 2001: A Space Odyssey and forward-thinking fashion live on today.mid century inflluence of Joachim King

Technology meets craftsmanship

Joachim effortlessly blends CAD technology with traditional principles of craftsmanship, learnt whilst studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and later as an apprentice to a Glasgow cabinetmaker. His pieces bring together all the best elements of mid-century interiors and contemporary ethical consumer awareness. Joachim has a reputation for well-thought out, detailed work offering neat design solutions to both domestic and commercial clients. He says much of his work is commission-based, and enjoys the challenge of bespoke design:
‘The challenge of meeting specific requirements is often the most satisfying. Whether it is a completely new idea, an adaptation of an existing design, or a piece to fit into a complicated space, I’m happy to discuss a project.’

Buying bespoke

Viewing Joachim’s work at Artisan Alchemy Gallery could be all the impetus you need to springboard yourself into an exciting home décor project. We have a stunning range of fine furniture on show, and our staff will be happy to assist you with commissioning your own unique piece.mid century inflluence of Joachim KingMany of our customers are buying for the future – fine furniture is made to last, and will not only provide decades of enjoyment in your home, but can be handed down as an heirloom piece, becoming one of the family.

Sustainable sources

Joachim works with timber from sustainable sources, and his workshop features a rainwater collection system and insulation to minimise heating energy use. In addition, his popular lighting designs use low energy sources such as LEDs and compact fluorescents, meaning you are buying not only a bespoke design classic of the future, but also buying ethically, too. Joachim adds:
‘We believe that good design is an elegant solution to a requirement. We work hard to get design decisions right. Design choices influence material and workmanship decisions too, and the right way is not necessarily the “best” or most expensive. All materials have individual characteristics which come into play during manufacture and in service. Most choices are a matter of balance.’

Visit Artisan Alchemy

Artisan Alchemy is a contemporary gallery in the Jewellery Quarter district of Birmingham. The area boasts the largest community of designer makers in Europe. The gallery is also host to Artisan Artemy fine jewellery. The Gallery fuses a long tradition of making with innovative modern design. As a result, it’s the perfect day out for design lovers. It really is an artistic hub. We are also dedicated to offering an excellent service so you can choose a special piece for yourself or a loved one. Our friendly staff will be happy to help you. Visit soon! The gallery also rents out workshops to local creative businesses. You can view the work national and internationally-recognised designers at Artisan Alchemy, 85 Caroline Street, Birmingham B3 1UP. Learn more about our opening times here.