Wood crafting... life behind a plane.
The feel of using a basic hand tool to shave and shape a piece of wood immediately struck a chord in me, and I knew then that I wanted to start the process of timber construction and design. Armed with a few basic tools and books I set about learning some skills, dovetail joints, mortise and tenons and a strong desire to create one off pieces that would have both function and form.
Finding employment in a small furniture restoration company gave me the experience needed to be able to repair and reproduce most designs and styles, and also to undertake commissions. This was followed by a course in Arboriculture, learning about the characteristics of our native tree species, and developing the use of the chainsaw in relation to small scale sawmilling and round wood construction.
Locating the perfect piece of wood for a commission with curves and twists, sustainably sourced and locally grown is an exciting start to the process of being a ‘maker’. I want to be able to tell my client exactly where the timber came from. Sourcing timber directly from the forest is a huge advantage in having choices in the design process, and allows me to be resourceful without being competitive.
My workshop, a Dutch barn that sits next to our old cottage in Dumfriesshire is constructed from Leyland Cypress and was lifted in place by the helping hands of friends, in the tradition of an old fashioned barn raising. The beams were milled using my Swedish portable chainsaw. This has served me well during the careful renovations involving a jointed cruck frame using Cumbrian oak and reworking rafters and purlins. There are numerous examples of my work that reflect my keen interest in maximising the potential of any given piece of wood and are a showpiece for my practical craftsmanship.
Visitors are always welcome, you may find me enjoying the warmth of the wood fire listening to Malian desert blues and quietly figuring out the next step in the fascinating process of making the very best job.
“My aim is to produce honest, unique and hand crafted pieces incorporating all the twists, curves and imperfections of nature. Using all the skills I have learned over the years I aim to produce my very best work on each project, with attention to detail, and taking the time that each piece deserves”