As part of her degree, Furniture and Product Design student Katryn Furmston designed James, a bespoke reclaimed timber coffee table, from a reclaimed lock gate, and displayed it as part of the Nottingham Trent University’s 2015 Degree Show.

“Made from part of a gate from Shipley Lock on the Erewash Canal, some of the oak had been submerged for more than 100 years,” explains Kathryn. “The idea of having different levels came from the fact that lock gates are designed to help boats make the transition between different water levels.

“It’s named after James Brindley, the engineer who built some of the first canals in the UK. The dark blue-black colour comes about where the iron bolts that held the lock together have reacted with the oak and the silt from the canal.”

“I see upcycling not as just another green fad, but as a way of exploring my own creativity – it’s much more challenging to make something from a waste material than a new one,” says Kathryn, who recently completed her course in BA in Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, where she specialised in upcycling.