My road to being a full-time craftsman has been a long and winding one. My first small steps into furniture making were driven through financial necessity. Having moved into my first flat and then realising I’d need something to fill the spaces, I bravely, or perhaps foolishly, decided to make my own furniture. I bought a few hand tools and after much suffering by the timber, tools and myself I was able to sit at a table, lie on a bed and arrange books on a shelf. And so the fascination with wood began. Now, many years later, having retired from a happy career in technology, I’m grateful that this love of wood and trees has persisted and I am now in the fortunate position to indulge this passion every single day, and even earn a little money doing this.
Trees are simply glorious creatures; the oldest living organisms on this earth they are so much more than rows of wood waiting to be turned into furniture, buildings or firewood. They are more than organisms producing oxygen or cleaning the air for us. They are individual beings that have feelings, know friendship, have a common language and look after each other, as recent science is showing.
Does this knowledge make it harder to work with the end product of felled trees? Perhaps, but also brings about a deep sense of respect and humility for wood and encourages one to produce beautiful and useful objects.
From my early adventures with knotty pine my woodworking followed a somewhat erratic trajectory: from a long flirtation with classical furniture, earnestly copying Adams and Chippendale pieces , then a brief interest in Arts and Crafts, followed by Scandinavian furniture, inspired by James Krenov and finally where I find myself today, very much in love with Shaker and American country furniture, which styles inspire most of my current pieces.