In rural south Derbyshire is the family smallholding, with one field called ‘cow close’ and the other ‘millway’. Although there was never a mill called Cow Close Mill, the ‘millway’ name probably refers to a long lost windmill near the farm, and so it just seemed to fit for my ambitions of a studio and workshop!
Most members of our family have been farmers or crafts people down the generations so the creative instinct and love of the outdoors runs deep. I did an undergraduate in Architecture but after leaving uni struggled to find something that i was really passionate about as, despite loving the course, a job being an architect can mean an awful lot of time in front of a computer and that just isn’t my cup of tea (i prefer coffee in any case).
I worked in a small farm shop and cafe just down the road for a while where the owner encouraged me to bring in my wood crafts and art for sale, my first experience that people might actually buy what i created and appreciate the skills i have picked up! As well as working on another local farm for a bit i eventually decided to scale up making and painting and move towards doing it full time.
The restored bench above in the workshop i built for myself was my grandads, as was the hammer, and certainly the huge slab of wood used for the top is over 100 years old. I think this perfectly captures what i am about in terms of my making. I’m either trying to reuse, repair or re-purpose older items, or, as in the garden trugs i am making in the photo, i am using reclaimed or unwanted timber with traditional woodworking skills to create something new yet useful and beautiful with a vintage inspired look.
My love of the outdoors has always inspired me to paint, draw or take photographs and my original paintings of farm animals and pets are available for sale, as mounted prints and as greetings cards. I take commissions and also frame the paintings, take a look in the gallery for my past works!