Joinery

andsomeplyers

Joinery

My office space with all the wood scraps I've saved from the burn pile

In 2015-16, I attended the Building Crafts College where I qualified as a joiner. A large focus of my training was in the use of hand tools and traditional techniques. I am now based at Blackhorse Workshop in Walthamstow where I have an office and space in the shared wood workshop. 

Cabinet custom made from reclaimed pine to fit perfectly inside another cabinet and hold three rows of 7" records. 

With a previous background in both design and participation work, I bring a unique approach to woodworking. I work collaboratively with my clients to achieve the style they are looking for which suits their specific environment and budget. I provide detailed preparatory sketches and check in with my clients often throughout the process of designing and building. 

Tenons at the end of the side rails for a handmade beech bed

I use traditional joinery (no nails or screws) and real wood (no plywood or sheet material) with a natural finish. Wood is an organic material that expands and contracts with ambient moisture levels. When this happens, screws and nails move around and eventually loosen. When you attach two pieces of wood together with joints such as a mortise and tenon or dovetails, they can expand and shrink together and still fit snugly after many years. This means I'm making work that is hard wearing and long lasting. Essentially, my clients are investing in work they can pass down to future generations of their biological or chosen families. 

Traditional dovetail joints holding the sides of a pine cabinet together. 

Whilst I work collaboratively and am flexible about style and time periods to suit someone's home, I'm most interested in simple design where form and function harmonize. I seek out wood that has character and looks beautiful with minimal treatment such as simple oil or wax finishes. The result is finished work that is easy to care for and maintain. 

Grain pattern of beech wood on bed leg with linseed oil finish. 

Another important aspect of what I do is actively seeking to work for women, queers and non-binary folks. I'm interested in carving out a space where a craft that is dominated by cis men can be transformed to genuinely serve the needs of everyone. Having been on the receiving end of it many times, I have a heightened awareness of the toxic masculinity that exists in the world of woodworking. I want to provide a safer space for people who have legitimate concerns about working with men they don't know or having them in their homes. This is for my own safety as well as my benefit since these are the people and communities I enjoy working with creatively anyway. 

Bed with headboard and footboard made from beech and steel with poplar slats. 

I'm also interested in building new economic models where people with shared values support each other's work. I don't dislike mass produced work just because it undercuts and devalues the work of craftspeople like me so deeply. I dislike it because it represents a faceless form of global capitalism that is cheap only because it isn't being held to account for the harm it causes to workers and the environment. When we support each other in our own communities instead, we can begin to challenge and disrupt that dynamic and at least take back some control over who gets our money. 

Detail of beech and steel headboard of a handmade bed. 

Obviously, being custom made on a totally individual scale, my work has to be more expensive than Ikea or I couldn't even afford the materials. But I'm open to trading my work for other people's work and skills. Money isn't the only currency after all. I'm also happy to take on small jobs that are more affordable because we all deserve nice things. If you'd like me to build something beautiful and practical for you, please get in touch

Hand carved and shaped walnut cutting board and butter knife.