Tamasine Osher grew up in the Kent countryside exploring the local woodlands and travelling to unusual and remote places with her family. The daughter of two architects, her mother’s focus was rooted in natural materials while her father specialised in the hard lines of contemporary architecture. Both were collectors and the converted barn in which the family lived was filled with an eclectic collection of antiques, modern iconic designs and interesting pieces sourced from travels to far flung places.
As a young adult, Tamasine continued to travel extensively, seeking out the wild places which inspire her, and otherwise dividing her time between the countryside and woodland surrounding their home and the diverse urban architecture of nearby London. The tensions and contrasts inherent in the places where industry meets nature, and the intense emotions these evoke, have informed her work ever since.
She gained an undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Manchester and went on to work as Creative Director for the Willer gallery in London, while simultaneously pursuing a master’s in furniture design at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. In search of a more three-dimensional and hands-on outlet for her ideas, she spent several years developing her own business alongside her work at Willer, before launching the Tamasine Osher brand full-time in 2016.
Tamasine Osher creates hand-crafted furniture and lighting products that evoke emotions and spark connections. Drawing inspiration from both nature and architecture, she reveals the hidden beauty of ageing, decay and wilderness – juxtaposing natural and human-made materials in unexpected ways to highlight the struggles and tensions produced when they collide and combine.
As a designer-maker, Tamasine undertakes many elements of the making process personally, working with a network of carefully selected craftspeople in the UK to source specific local materials. The combination of hand craftsmanship and the unpredictability of natural materials means that decisions are called for at every stage of the making process. Tamasine is on-site throughout, ensuring that every decision reflects her discerning eye for contemporary design.
Material sourcing | sustainability
Tamasine works closely with tree surgeons to sustainably source British wood from fallen trees that would otherwise become firewood. Valuing the history written into every one – knots, bark inclusions, pin holes and spalting (the pattern formed by fungal growth on fallen or dead beech trees) – Tamasine looks for slabs that exhibit unique character and takes in timber that might have lain in the undergrowth for months.
Beech trees are kept in log form for up to three years, to cultivate the spalting, before cutting and turning to order. She uses a clear bio-resin to preserve and highlight the unique features in timber slabs and works with marble off-cuts sourced as a waste product from a local stone supplier. Chairs are upholstered in pioneering fabrics such as Pinatex, cork and recycled leather.
Constant dialogue between Tamasine and her clients sees material samples and photographs sent back and forth as decisions are made about the finest details from the warp or pin holes in a particular piece of timber to bespoke sizes, shapes and formations. As a trained architect and designer, she acts as a conduit between interior designers and specifiers and her handpicked craftspeople at every stage of the making process, from sourcing materials to finishing touches.
Tamasine is fascinated by the emotional responses provoked by the moments in which human-made, often decaying, structures meet the constant growth, change and repair of the natural world. To feed this fascination, she spends time in both urban and natural environments, documenting examples of these intersections, co-existences, and interdependencies – and the tensions they create. She then aims to recreate both the material contrasts and the emotional responses in her work.