I started working professionally with wood as an architectural joiner in Bath, where at first most of my work was repairing or replacing doors and windows in the Georgian buildings there, nearly all of which were listed; this meant that the quality of the work was strictly controlled.
From windows and doors, I progressed to staircases. At first, my work only involved repairs but, because I was rash enough to tackle jobs that other people did not want to do, I progressed to some exciting projects. Stairs are still among my favourite commissions. They are hardly ever straight-forward and usually need good problem- solving skills, challenges that I enjoy; a good design can make a huge difference to a home.
In Bath, one of my clients asked me to make them a table to fit into their octagonal kitchen and we decided on an oval design that would seat twelve people. I am still making an adaptation of this design. The table below was made in sycamore.
I like the oval shape for a table – it seems to give a more sociable feel if more than two people are sitting side by side.
The table below, which I call my “truncated oval” design, is made in oak from a tree that was blown over on the farm where I had my workshop. This photo was taken at the annual exhibition of the Scottish Furniture Makers.
photo by Paul T Cowan
When I moved to Glasgow I was starting my business from scratch again. I wanted to specialize more on things I enjoyed making, having had my fill of Georgian sash windows! At first I chose to concentrate on stairs and kitchens. Below is a kitchen designed in conjunction with the client, who also did the painting:
Here is more of my work: