40 years of making stuff

Posted on: 16th January, 2014

Category: Home & Garden

Contributor: West Cork People

Toby Hatchett headshot“I guess it all started with Lego,” says Toby Hatchett. Designer, builder, cabinet maker and artist Toby Hatchett has always had an unquenchable passion, as he says, “for making stuff”.

As a teenager, Toby turned his Lego passion into restoring vintage cars and wooden boats. This interest then took him to study boat building at university. “I love boats and sailing but being on a factory floor building racing yachts was unrewarding. My interests and skills lie not only in creating and building, but in the design and development of beautiful and useful things.”

Furniture design led Toby into creating beautiful and unique handmade kitchens. Fitting well-built kitchens into badly built, cold and draughty new houses frustrated Toby enough to investigate the world of low energy building. It was not enough however to design and build his own contemporary passive house. Toby joined forces with his Dad (Bill Hatchett -interior designer) and set up Greenhus. Together they built five beautiful Swedish engineered low energy houses in Ireland before the construction industry crash. As one industry failed, so another grew — music festivals are not only growing in popularity but these events need interesting structures and spaces. Body and Soul, an Irish music festival with an interest in sustainability, commissioned Toby to build portable wooden festival venues and art installations last year. The beautiful and unique festival spaces that Toby built included an extra sensory ingredient that fuelled a new interest in Toby…sound!

So now, on top of making furniture and kitchens, restoring old cars, building houses and festival spaces, Toby is also designing and building his own line of party sound systems!

“I can’t see a time when I would want to stop making stuff,” he says, “I’m like my grandfather who built replica steam trains; he would make and fix everything. I guess it’s an old fashioned way, but it’s in my blood”.

Toby’s eye for detail, exceptional skill, reliability and enthusiasm has given him an excellent reputation locally. “Engaging with Toby was not only our best decision but his input throug out the cafe redesign was vital. Toby has a creative eye for detail and excellent work ethic. He is punctual and on budget. I could not praise his work enough and would use him on my future projects. If you’re looking for a true professional, Toby’s your man.” Richy Virahsawmy.

Architects also seek Toby out as a skilled and reliable tradesman: “Toby Hatchett brings a wealth of experience in design and knowledge of materials to bear on the projects, which we have worked together on. The end result is always better than expected”. Mulcahy Ralphs Architects.

“I love developing ideas into physical pieces, and helping people create something unique to them, something that they will enjoy and benefit from for years,” Toby explains.

“We asked Toby to design and make a kitchen table and bench for our new home. He worked with us on the design over a few sessions and came up with lots of beautiful ideas. Toby sourced Irish Oak for us and made a really special piece of furniture that far exceeded our expectations. The excellent design, attention to detail, and workmanship in the finished pieces belies a true sense of pride in the work and we would unreservedly recommend Toby Hatchett to anyone”. Ciaran O’Connell.

Toby celebrated his 40th birthday this January and guess what he spent the day doing? Making Lego!

For more information and photos on what Toby can create for you, look at his face book page ‘Toby Hatchett furniture’ or go to www.hatchett.ie.


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