My appreciation for furniture design began in 1985.

I was fortunate to apprentice with some of the UK’s most respected furniture restorers, Spink and Sons Ltd. in Central London. The country’s leading antique dealers sent us the finest 18th. century English furniture from auction, often sight unseen. Jack had been french polishing them for over 40 years. His wax recipe was secret, imparted an inviting glow and changed alchemically with the weather. A regular client once sent him a piece from New York so that he could, “… buff it up.” The Smithsonian Institute houses its twin.

Spink’s Restoration took me on after I was asked to draw a circle as the main test in my interview. I had just completed a year’s study of traditional joinery, building doors and windows by hand. Traditional crafts had struck a chord.

I began designing and making furniture as Good Wood Studios in 1989, having emigrated to British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. The successes of George Nakashima, James Krenov, Sam Maloof, Edward Barnsley, Alan Peters and John Makepeace continue to inspire. I was invited to exhibit at The Canadian Craft Museum, studied briefly at Makepeace’s Parnham House and developed my own approaches, as one does. 

For a finish, I employ a waterproof, plant derived varnish pioneered by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s. It is food safe and suitable for the hyper-allergenic. I  adapted Jack’s polishing techniques for my application of it (and give classes on this, and other aspects of the craft). It is easily repaired, patinates beautifully and invites a gentle caress ~ prerequisites for an heirloom.

I am careful to select timber only from certified sustainably managed sources, as two thirds of the world’s primary forests are now gone. In 2015 I began importing Australian Blackwood from an enterprise in South Africa which  focusses on the conservation of “The Knysna elephants”. Newly returned from the brink of extinction, they are the world’s most southerly herd of elephant.

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