Brian McKee is an award winning Northern Irish furniture designer based in Ballynahinch, Co. Down.
His primary aim is to satisfy the practical requirements of the piece he is designing, in a way that is visually interesting or unusual. The design should be in harmony with its purpose, while also being appropriate for the production circumstances. As a maker he endeavours to do justice to the design he has created, primarily through the process of steam bending.
The primary constructional method which dominates Brian McKee’s work is the steam bending of timber. This is achieved by heating unseasoned or seasoned but re-wetted timber to 100 degrees Celsius and bending it over a specially designed mould. This is possible because the adhesive material (lignin) which holds the fibers together softens temporarily at this temperature, enough to allow some movement of the fibers relative to one another, enabling the wood to bend.