From a very early age I was naturally interested in how things were made, especially those made from wood and began designing and making things myself.
Building skateboard ramps as a teenager with wood my friends and I could scavenge really made me realise what was possible, working with the materials you have and designing around them. After leaving school, I trained in carpentry, joinery and furniture design & manufacture and started my own business.
It always seemed obvious to me to re-use and repurpose any surplus, unwanted or discarded materials, which led me on to making furniture from salvaged wood, often emptying the skips on sites where I was working. What people throw away always amazed me.
I learnt to turn wood at college as a teenager and set up a small workshop in my mother’s shed, experimenting with logs from the woodstore and carving with offcuts given to me by family friends.
Just as in my furniture making, when making woodenware my aim is to make items that are functional, aesthetically pleasing and above all else, sustainable. This has always been a key part of my work but has become more important to me as the years go by.
The timber we use is sourced as near to our studio as possible, often from our village and is from trees which have fallen naturally or needed to be felled. We also use wood from our own small woodland, removing diseased or overcrowded trees and replanting native trees to help secure the habitat for the future. We’re very lucky to live near to some fantastic beaches in North Cornwall and use the driftwood collected on our beach walks which can make some particularly interesting pieces.
I still find working with wood as satisfying as ever and especially the focus on making the most of even the smallest of offcuts to make something functional.
In 2022 I started teaching woodturning with green wood in my studio and in 2023 plan to offer green woodworking courses in our woodland ~ watch this space!