y 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 courses.

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. 

t 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.

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