Greg Hatton | Furniture Designer
Greg is one of those gentlemen who eats success for breakfast. Success in a slightly different way to how we measure it in general western cultures. I hadn’t said it to him at the time but when I was observing his life with his partner and now two kids, I saw a contentment that is missing in many. If I wore a hat, I’d take it off to Greg and happily watch as he continues to build his sanctuary. He is also a bit of a clown.
The Pixel Trade was a short weekend out at the old butter factory, outside of Melbourne, where I have been before to shoot two other trades. This time though the trade was with Greg and photographing his workshop and furniture pieces. It just so happens that the weekend was also host to Chopped, a hot rod and rock music festival, which provided evening entertainment to wind down from the fast moving furniture.
Interview with Greg
Describe your most memorable adventure as a child.
When I was about 10 my family embarked on a trip through the desert country of outback NSW and Queensland. The old man had purchased an old fj55 landcruiser for the mission and i was very impressed by the road status the car possessed. It felt like it was a very genuine adventure and we were in the right vehicle for the job. The country was so empty but beautiful. As is often the case on trips such as this the journey is more relevant than the destination. Heading back from camerons corner (where qld sa and nsw share borders ) the weather had closed in and we had about 200km of dirt road ahead. It was pissing down and the road had turned to mud, my usually conservative father opted to push ahead and i got out and engaged the free wheel hubs for a crazy 4 hour 4wd mud mission. The car was constantly sliding off the road but kept on going, by the time we popped out the other end it was totally covered in mud much to my delight.
If you could design any piece of furniture for someone who would it be and why?
I'd design Scarlett Johansson a bed and test it out with her, because she is sexy as
What is one of the most enjoyable parts of creating furniture?
Turning a raw material into something functional. Sitting in a chair that was once a tree for the first time and realizing its actually pretty comfortable is quite rewarding
What is the most difficult part of creating furniture?
Creating it is easy, the difficult part is trying to make some money out of it. It is very labour intensive the materials are expensive as is transport.
What is the biggest misconception of furniture designers?
That they are cool.
If you weren’t designing furniture, what would you be doing?
I change careers pretty regularly so I'm probably due to find a new vocation. Perhaps a farmer, I have had secret farming desires of late, or a permaculture consultant. I thought when my aching body finally gives out or I chop off my arm with a chainsaw I'd put pen to paper and write a novel or two. Maybe when I'm older. A student, maybe i'd go back to uni and study. Actually I would really like to be an arbourist, you get to climb trees and sculpt them into living art.
What are you most afraid of in life?
If you could do anything tomorrow, what would you do?
Sit down with James Packer and encourage him to stop spending all his money on creating more Casinos and to spend it on land rehabilitation. That way he could still make money from improved and sustainable farming but he could leave a legacy. Imagine leaving a legacy, people could look up to you James and your amazing achievements. There is not enough Legacy creation in the world right now.
If you could teach a group of people one thing, what would it be?
Oh shit I should have read this question before I answered the last one how about teach rich bastards that they can leave a legacy through there decision making on how they use their money.. and I'll change no 9 to walking the wilderness coast track near Mallacoota in far east Victoria
Describe your most memorable adventure as an adult.
It would have to be the year I spent on Cocos keeling Island running a vegetable farm. I along with 3 mates submitted a business plan to the western Australian government to run an abandoned veggie farm on this remote atoll. They picked us as we were obviously the most qualified for the job. Those qualifications included being mad. The place is amazing, the picture perfect island paradise, however a population of 150 people of which 70 are children does create some strange social coherence.
If you had to recommend a favourite music album, what would it be?
Funkadelic's maggot brain