bespoke furniture News & Blog

‘Tis the Season…

261 Words - Posted on 24th Dec 2018

“…to put your tools down… fa-la la la lah, la la, la-la!” Not renowned for taking holidays, even cabinetmakers take a break over Christmas. It’s not a bad idea to occasionally remove yourself completely from the workshop for a while, and ... more

Workmanship of risk…

399 Words - Posted on 26th Sep 2018
David Savage furniture design - Honduras Rosewood Chaise lounge

The Dynamic Duo A week or so ago, I suggested that a maker cutting their teeth in the real world should design a piece that avoids creating excessive risk. Risk, that is, to the maker, as chances are the piece will not only be a total nightmare ... more

The Art of Workmanship

337 Words - Posted on 16th Sep 2018

There’s workmanship of risk and there’s bad design David Pye wrote The Nature and Art of Workmanship. It is a book we recommend to every Rowden student, and one I certainly recommend to you. David goes a long way to help explain why hand made ... more

Cabinetmakers: Don’t confuse a romantic with a push over

311 Words - Posted on 15th Aug 2018

Capitalism has done wonders for making a lot of people a lot of money. It has also helped turn a lot of people into really not nice people to know. Markets are dominated, the competition crushed. Business leaders are more and more like hard-nosed ... more

Ebony and Ivory

320 Words - Posted on 9th Aug 2018

Live together on really expensive old pianos but no longer have any place on contemporary furniture. And hurray for that! It’s come to our notice that fewer and fewer people are interested in exotic hardwoods, but that doesn’t mean ... more

Not all imaginations leap…

287 Words - Posted on 22nd May 2018
Woodworking courses - student design

and some leap too far! As a designer maker, it usually makes sense to market yourself through a fairly narrow lens. This can be frustrating at times when the training at Rowden gives you the skills to make pretty much anything in any style, from ... more

Older, wiser…

247 Words - Posted on 15th Apr 2018

Older, wiser... Jonathan had an interesting conversation at Rowden this week with two of our  students - one from South Korea and one from Scandinavia - about how different cultures view craftsmanship.  It ended up being a very philosophical ... more

When it comes to marking knives, less is more

264 Words - Posted on 9th Jan 2018
Marking out tools

When it comes to marking knives, less is more There are a few ways too mark a line on a piece of wood. The most obvious is a pencil, but the graphite can smudge, the line width varies with the thickness of the lead and wood loves to break the point ... more

The Big Reveal

321 Words - Posted on 7th Jan 2018
Cherry cabinets detail triptych

The Big Reveal I don’t think any serious cabinetmaker ever gets blasé about making beautiful furniture as it is a constant source of delight, watching raw wood being slowly turned into something stunning and unique. It is possible to think ... more

If you live by the seasons…

216 Words - Posted on 20th Dec 2017

If you live by the seasons… Coastal living is a mixed blessing a lot of the time. Especially here at Rowden in the windy, rainy, south-west of England. That said, you’ll rarely hear people complain because, crappy weather notwithstanding, they ... more

Handmade wood furniture – it’s the future!

233 Words - Posted on 17th Dec 2017
Woodworking course - student design

Handmade wood furniture - it’s the future! Technology is developing and progressing at breakneck speed - a platitude, it’s so obvious and understood. Our kids won’t learn to drive, train to be accountants or lawyers, or need an actual doctor ... more