03 Sep

Meet.. Max McMurdo

Fresh from helping Kirsty Allsop fill homes for free, we chat to Max McMurdo about upcycling and the upcoming Festival of Thrift. 

You’ve spent the last little while teaching us to fill our homes for free – what was the best thing about working on the show?

The best thing about working on the show was sharing my thoughts and skills with others, I enjoy working in the workshop in a small team but it’s even better sharing your ideas with 2.4 million people

When did your love of recycling and upcycling objects come from?

I never realised until recently that my parents taught me to ‘make do and mend’ and we repaired everything that broke. I didn’t see it as upcycling or invention it was simply cost effective and sensible.

Tell us a little about your business Reestore.. how did you start it and what is your signature style?

I established reestore in 2002 after a short career as a car designer, I wanted to design something smaller from concept to manufacture with an ethical, contemporary style. I like all my pieces to provoke the viewer to ask whether it really used to be something else, the quality of upcycled designs must be even better than new items as customers are automatically looking for flaws!

You’ve created some unusual upcycling projects in the past, but which of your creations sticks in your mind the most?

When we created the items for TV the design process was a lot shorter, usually I would make prototypes, test materials and source special items, when I made the radiator table for the show I had half a day, was working with what I had and in front of a film crew, it was madness to take on such a challenge but it was worth it when I saw the contributors reaction

Why did you want to be a part of the Festival of Thrift?

When I heard that the team behind vintage festival were creating an all thrift show i got very excited indeed! they are known for throwing amazing festivals and with the theme of making, crafts and upcycling its going to draw an audience of amazing likeminded people. I’m actually getting giddy just thinking about it!

What will you be doing there?

Well I wanted to hold a workshop to teach people the basic skills as that was the feedback I’ve received from the show. It then occurred to me that I don't have a camper or caravan and I’m too old for tents! I therefore decided to take my van of tools with a trailer on the back loaded with lots of old pallets. Over the course of the show I intend to turn the load of junk into a retro styled beach hut caravan for me to sleep in – who knows what will happen?!


The Festival of Thrift, curated by Wayne Hemingway and Gerardine Hemingway MBE, is a fabulously fun and frugal free festival happening at Lingfield Point in Darlington on the 21 & 22 of September 2013. For more information please visit www.festivalofthrift.co.uk or follow them on Twitter on @thriftfest

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