David Savage Bio

Furniture with Soul book cover

David Savage Profile

1949 – 1968

Born David Binnington in Bridlington Yorkshire. David Savage attended Bridlington Grammar School where he won a place to go up to The Ruskin School, University of Oxford to study fine art in 1968. His undergraduate years lead to a postgraduate place at the Royal Academy Schools in London.

1968 – 1977

Graduating from the Royal Academy Schools in 1974 David joined Desmond Rochefort in The Public Arts Workshop. Together they were responsible in 1977 for the Royal Oak Murals in Paddington. The success of this piece (now largely destroyed) lead David to be invited by local residents to initiate the Cable Street Mural Project.

1977 – 1980

Between 1977 and 1980 David worked at raising money and creating designs for a 70-foot high mural depicting the Battle of Cable Street to be placed on the wall of the former Stepney town hall on Cable Street.

Cable Street mural

The mural was a depiction of the resistance of local residents to the passage through their community of Mosley’s fascist Blackshirts on October 4, 1939. Then it was Jews, now it is Bangladeshi and Asian immigrants. Each community firebombed in their homes and tormented by local fascist groups.

1980 – 1983

Resigned from Cable Street Mural project and, in 1982, set up workshop “David Savage Furniture” in Fulham, London.

1983 – 1995

Established David Savage Furniture Makers in Bideford.

Between 1983 and 1995 the workshops in Westcombe Lane developed a series of pieces of furniture for local and national clients including “Linenfold” 1989. Advised and assisted in his early years by Alan Peters, David became a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in1984 and membership followed by Fellowship of the Society of Designer Craftsmen 1992.

Between 1983 and 1990 David wrote a regular monthly series of woodworking articles in The Woodworker Magazine entitled “The Craft of Cabinet Making.”

1996 – 2010

Working with Nick Chandler and Daren Millman, they created pieces like “Love Chair Ver4″, a Chaise Lounge“DayBed”, and “Million Dollar Table” a contemporary dining table.

In 2010 he published Furniture With Soul by David Savage with Kodansha Int.

2010 – 2019

Following his retirement from the workshop in 2014, David spent the past five years endeavouring to put everything into place for Rowden to thrive, long after he was there to be a part of it. Selecting a team of tutors and management who deeply understood Rowden and predominantly trained here, he ensured his message would endure. Writing was the focus of his latter years and in late 2018, he published his second book The Intelligent Hand via Lost Art Press. The work charts his career as an artist, furniture maker, designer and writer and provides both a fascinating view into his design process as well as inspirations for the magnificent furniture he created. David passed away in early 2019 but the Atelier at Rowden continues to train another generation of cabinetmakers, underpinned by David’s strong ethics and unique philosophy.