The brainchild behind the highly-acclaimed JotterGoods shares his socratic approach towards continuously educating himself on the craft of furniture design
In the industry of furniture design, the trait that separates mere craftsmen from industry leaders seems to be an undying appetite for continuous growth. This, along with a myriad of other winner characteristics, make award-winning Jerry Low a celebrated name in the industry. The Singaporean furniture designer now bares his thoughts surrounding the steady uptrend of his career, as well as a few key insights regarding his most exceptional works.
Keeping it old school
With a well-rounded collection of designs under his belt, Low is transparent in being a believer of the idea that before one branches out of the norm, one must first pay his respects to the innovations of his predecessors. This may be no less evident in Low’s “old school” Jotter Desk, a design which prioritizes the aspects of practicality and a compact form, all while maintaining a fine finish. Built for “the small-space living,” the Jotter Desk stands on a simple structural framework whilst holding two brass houses for handy storage.
The Jotter Desk is also able to feature Low’s fervent commitment to a zero-waste policy and sustainable material sourcing; which is made apparent in Low’s choice of utilizing American white oak for the piece. American white oak is structurally strong and easy to work; it is perhaps the most highly regarded blond timber on the market. It is also from a proven sustainable resource, something that matters to Low who is amongst the informed designers who take the provenance of their materials into account. Low proclaims that “We respect every plank is precious and we keep wastage to a minimum.”
A passion for detail
One thing that Jerry Low wishes from the consumers of his craftsmanship is that they could be able to appreciate the artistry behind his design, as well as share the romantic enthusiasm Low emits to his work, explaining that: “For every design, regardless of the material, I hope to imbue craftwork into it.” The focus on craft means solid timber is always the main material choice for Low: “It allows me to work on a different scale, from a table or a console unit down to a small handle. The flowing grain and colour of the different species exude a richness and charm which no other material can replace”.
This passion for craftwork cannot be more prevalent with Low’s iconic Wind Shelf design, which the council explains: “combines solid timber with smoked glass shelves which create a louvre like structure and a sense of visual lightness.” The Wind Shelf was recently reimagined and recreated in both American cherry and American white oak, adding a further layer of quality to a superb design.
A grounded approach
Jerry Low attributes the success of JotterGoods to the brand’s steadfast dedication to honest workmanship and authentic designs. With over 80 designs under its belt—including a myriad of collaborations with other Singaporean designers—the young trademark eyes on continuing to build its steady rise with its business partner, Star Furniture.
It might just be that Low does not yet wish to see the feverish peak of his already-astonishing abilities, but we believe that his hands-on approach in continuously absorbing the ins-and-outs of the process surrounding his industry is what keeps him humble. The craftsman attempts to stay away from being attributed the epithet of “top designer.” He divulges, “My role as principal designer for JotterGoods will be ongoing and I’m looking forward to more fruitful collaborative work with new designers. I don’t see myself as a ‘top designer’–it’s always going to be a learning journey for me.”
Some say that if you are the smartest guy in the room, then it is the wrong room for you. Jerry Low falls as a believer of this adage, and it is this thirst for knowledge that allows him to continuously evolve and stave off stagnancy within such a dynamic and ever-changing industry.