Q&A: Coolican & Company

We love the simple, exquisitely crafted, handmade wood furniture designed and built by Peter Coolican and Company and we aren't alone in that opinion! Peter tells us how joy shows up in his practice.

How do you cultivate joy? 
As a designer, I think joy is in the details. During design, there is a sense of delight when those details are instilled in the piece waiting to be discovered by anyone who seeks them out.

If joy makes us invest more deeply in people around us and in our communities, how does your business/profession/work allow you to get more connected to your community?
Relationships are crucial to our ability to do the work we love. Doing good work opens the door and starts a conversation.

Do you think there is a connection between joy and success? Did you choose to follow your passion/joy/creativity/idea and find success or fulfillment?
I can’t think of anyone who has found success without hard work, and hard work becomes impossible when you are unfulfilled. I had the privilege of finding work that offered moments of satisfaction and joy and I knew I’d be foolish to pass that up.

Name one to three of your fav makers/products featured in Toronto Makes. These may be makers you've always supported or new discoveries made through the project. Why do you love them?
Heidi Earnshaw is one of the most principled furniture makers I know, with an eye for proportion like no other. I had the pleasure of sharing a studio with her for 5 years and one day I hope to commission her to create a piece for my home.

Another clear favourite of mine is 18 Waits the wonderful world created by Daniel Torjman. They say these clothes are “meant to be worn well, enjoyed, loved, and destroyed”. I’ve done my best to do just that with the pieces I own, but they’re pretty damn hard to destroy. Aside from the clothes, I’ve also got a lot of love for Dan himself. He gave me plenty of great advice when I was getting started and I will be forever grateful for his guidance and integrity.

Devin Schaffner at Rekindle is another awesome example of good people making good stuff. Devin’s work is honest, simple, and fair. It’s been exciting to see his company grow and I can’t wait to see where he takes it.

While I don’t know them personally, the work of Filo Timo pushes me to be a better designer. Everything they do is so refined and oozes so much integrity and sophistication that it always seems to defy classification. I’m looking forward to reading more about them and their connection to Toronto. 

Portrait by Saty + Pratha
Coolican & Company is featured in the book Toronto Makes by Randi Bergman. @coolicanandcompany

Makejoy's Chair Enamel Pin is inspired by Coolican's Madison Chair
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