Spotlight on Michael Wilson, Fabricator
Wilson has been with Factory Settings now for more than five years, he is an integral part of our production team and has involvement with pretty much every project we work on. He talks below about how he got into the industry and his most memorable builds.
What is your favourite material to work with?
I’ve always liked wooden furniture, so I enjoy working with any form of softwood or hardwood timber. Especially if I know the grain of the material will still be part of the project’s finish.
What is the most complicated request you have worked on?
The hardest thing I have made has to be for the “Science City 1550 - 1800” exhibition for the Science museum. There were these interactive benches made of valchromat. Some of these benches were complex shapes, all of their joints had to be mitred with no fixings on show. Some components had to be removable to fit a screen and other electrical items inside, and the valchromat material was the finish so I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes or damage on them. It was a challenge, but I was proud when I finally finished them.
What would be your preferred tool/area to work in?
For me, I prefer any projects that require less fixings. Before my time in Factory Settings, a lot of my learning and fabricating was done with projects requiring wood joints like haunched mortise and tenons, dovetails, tongue and grooves, wood bending etc. That’s why my favourite tool has to be a domino jointer as it's versatile and can efficiently provide similar functions as some of these joints that I’m fond of.
Favourite project you've worked on at Factory Settings?
My favourite project was building a fabric wrapped showcase. I had to make this MDF showcase structure in separate components that would fit together with glue and dominos. However, all of these components were specced to be individually fabric wrapped before fitting them together. I always enjoy projects that push my skills up a level and this allowed me to do just that.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I used to love performing and that used to be in the form of amateur theatre shows or wrestling in front of local crowds. Now I like to try out new experiences, I’ve recently been salsa dancing and learning to snowboard, I’m looking to try bachata next. Otherwise I also enjoy dog walks and exploring around different places.
Prior to working at Factory Settings what did you do?
After finishing school I spent 2 years studying a BTEC in Media Production and an A level in 3D design (Whilst working part-time at a Millie’s Cookies). Both of these subjects allowed me to express some creativity in different ways but 3D design was my introduction to any form of fabrication. I then became a scenic carpentry apprentice for the Royal Opera House for 3 years.
How long have you worked at Factory Settings?
I’ve worked here for over 6 years now (wow time flies by so quick). I originally arrived here for a month-long work experience placement as my apprenticeship was coming to an end. Ultimately, that turned into a full-time position that’s given me lots of opportunities, new skills and experiences throughout most of my 20s, all of which I’m very thankful for.