TEL: +44 (0)167 482 0746

Spotlight on the maker:
Roger Nathan
Roger Nathan

Designer and carpenter, Roger Nathan, handcrafts beautiful marquetry side tables based on mathematical patterns in his workshop in Witney, Oxfordshire. Roger kindly answered some questions about his work and the inspiration behind it for us.

Fibonacci Side Table

Where does your passion for making your pieces come from?

My interest in making tables is to illustrate beautiful mathematics. I was a research scientist in Oxford involved in projects ranging from archaeological science, fusion reactors, geography, psychiatry and radiotherapy. I continually came across amazing designs from nature and I wanted these to become part of the material culture.

Were you always interested in creating things from childhood?

No, not in the traditional sense. I was rubbish at art but I grew up in a household of art-loving and creative family members. My interests were in puzzles and patterns, folding a sheet of paper to produce novel tessellations, Islamic geometry books, etc.

Walnut Ellipse Fibonacci Side Table

What led you to starting your business?

My last research position involved a component of precision engineering work and I really struggled. I bought a mini-lathe and mill for the back shed to teach myself more about how things were made. My first objects produced were 3d puzzles and Sterling engines. I really loved it and decided to pursue designing and making as a business.

Where do you draw inspiration for your table designs?

I usually start with an interesting mathematical geometry or periodic function. I see what happens after repeating shapes in an ordered way or make a dynamical system where a pattern emerges. The key to my designs is cropping and removal to produce a harmonious and interesting design within the limitations of working with wood.

Ripple Side Table

What is your favourite part of the making process?

The designing.

Is there any specific part you enjoy the most or do you enjoy the overall process as a whole?

I enjoy the whole process. The design is the cerebral part of the table. However, every piece involves problem-solving at some stage, which I love. I find making is a very meditative activity on the whole, although there are often highs (putting on the coating to bring the marquetry to life) and lows(mistakes).

Sycamore Ellipse Fibonacci Side Table

Do you have any particular design heroes or other makers your work has been influenced by?

There are the greats, like Escher, Vasarely and Riley, for creating designs that are both complex and simple, and beautiful. I also love the work of algorithmic artists such as Jonathan McCabe.

Any upcoming projects/pieces you’re working on that you’d like to tell us about?

I am now doing a series of rectangular coffee tables. Two designs are in preparation: a “trapped” spiral; and one based on the random close packing of ellipses (using an algorithm that was developed during my research into the dating of sedimentary sands).


Sycamore Ellipse Fibonacci Side Table
Ripple Side Table
Walnut Ellipse Fibonacci Side Table

About the Author


Written by Jane Adams, founder of Author Interiors. LinkedIn:

Read more about her here.

Featured In


Join AUTHOR Society, our ‘inner sanctum’ for
appreciators of exquisite furniture and home accessories.

‘Society’ members receive exclusive offers,
gifts, previews of new AUTHOR products and interiors advice.

Membership is FREE and you’ll get a £20 voucher to spend.