initial training was as a teacher of craft and for ten years I taught craft
and design at New College,
the sixth form college in Telford.
For the following nine years I managed the Greenwood Trust in Ironbridge, pioneering the use of crafts as a
means of regenerating our traditional woodlands and woodland trades. Until
recently my small firm “Hafren” has concentrated on building small
timber framed buildings in both traditional and modern designs. I have
also designed and built several interiors and tutored many woodworking
have recently completed a Post Graduate diploma in the Conservation of Timber Buildings, and presently concentrate on small work, such as furniture, in combination with teaching.
here are two significant styles of furniture featured in the courses to learn woodworking skills offered at 'Hafren' - the British vernacular tradition which fits in loosely with the styles of the Arts and Crafts movement and the American tradition of the Shaker communities. Both have clear simple designs which are elegant and functional. They have the added advantage of being relatively simple to make.
was during my time at New College that the decision was made not to use any
more tropical timbers and this also led me down the road of studying vernacular
furniture making. The English tradition typified by the Arts and Crafts
movement has always had an attraction; they really did celebrate the joy
of working by hand and being close to the material.
he American tradition
of the Shaker communities has an elegance all of its own, their work being
much more machine orientated. On a recent visit to the Shaker Museums in
New England my admiration has grown for what they achieved. There is
nothing to compare with seeing it “in the flesh”, so to speak, and to
hold those precious items in your hand.