David Binnington Savage 1949 – 2019

David Binnington Savage, 1949 - 2019

It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of David Binnington Savage on Friday January 18th after a determined fight with cancer.

David was an accomplished artist, furniture designer-maker, writer and inspiration to all who followed his work over the years, or had the opportunity to train under him and his staff at the Rowden Atelier in Devon.

David moved from his Bideford workshop to the rural setting at Rowden in 1995, designing and making outstanding furniture whilst growing Rowden into the renowned school it is today; training and guiding students from all over the world. We knew this was coming but it is no easier for any of us connected to Rowden and David. However we will continue celebrating his work and teachings in the only way we can, getting into the workshop and training the next generation of cabinetmakers.

Determined to the end, David published his second book ‘The Intelligent Hand’ in late 2018.  It charts his career as an artist, furniture maker, designer and writer and provides a fascinating view into his design process, what inspired his work and documents some of the magnificent furniture he created.

The book opens;

Well Mr. Savage, I am sorry to tell you the results of your tests are not good.  If you play your cards right you may have two years, three at best.  Play them badly and we are looking at months not years.”

David’s determination, creativity and inspiration were with him to the end, Carol, his wife told us;

“he fought to the end, & continued to talk of Rowden. A true artist to the core, he was even inspired by the new spring growth outside his window, to draw a design in his note book”

Over the coming months we will be celebrating David here through some of his classic writings, including extracts from his two books; ‘Furniture with Soul’ and  ‘The Intelligent Hand’, alongside a selection of his inspirational designs including the most recent pieces finished at Rowden only weeks ago and those still under construction.

It was David’s request that he be remembered at Rowden in the way he most enjoyed, in the warm Devon sunshine with a big party and lots of happy people. We will be arranging this and welcoming students past and present for the celebration of his life and work.

Should anyone feel they would like to send flowers it was David’s wish that donations should be made to the North Devon Hospice at Deer Park, Barnstaple.


David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

Looking for our woodworking courses?

Rowdenatelier.com is the new home of Rowden Atelier Fine Woodworking School.

It is where you will now find all the information about our renowned fine woodworking courses, our ethos, and why our students go on to do so many great things. This site remains dedicated to the designs and work, of Rowden’s Founder; David Savage. If you are looking for our woodworking courses, please click here.