Born in New Zealand Chris Reid has been living and working in Western Australia for nearly three decades. He first began working with timber to create large sculptural pieces on a self-taught basis and he has been selling into galleries such as the Fremantle Arts Centre since the 1980’s. In the early 90’s he decided to gain some additional skills by studying woodcraft at Albany TAFE a move which helped him progress in both design and making. The pepper mills are made primarily from three different timbers including Sheoak and Jarrah. These timbers grow on his property and are both particularly beautiful fine timbers to work with.
Chris sources most of the wood from fallen logs on his property or from neighbours who bring choice pieces to his workshop. This approach means the products Chris makes are sustainably sourced as he is able to get most of his timber from within 3-4 klms of his house. This gives his designs eco credibility to complement their aesthetics. However the best seller is actually made from marine plywood which he first began working with in 2004. The plywood is made from sustainably grown hoop-pine from Queensland. The mills created from this plywood are very modern looking and the glue lines in the plywood make the design very effective. The plywood sheets are 25mm thick which Chris glues together to create a 75mm block. He then carves the block to create the separate pepper mill pieces.
Chris primarily creates kitchenware items such as the mills timber-handled cheese pate and bread knives and chopping boards and although he still works on sculptural pieces he is happy making the smaller pieces which are so unique and have become so popular.