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craft&design Selected

  Selected Makers

Tom Philipson

As a contemporary furniture maker I aim to produce high quality hand crafted pieces using skills and techniques perfected in “the golden age of English furniture” by Georgian cabinet makers. Through working with many different styles of furniture from medieval periods to the present day as a restorer and conservator, I have been able to gain the experience necessary to determine which methods, styles and materials actually work in terms of longevity, and I strive to implement these methodologies within all my works.

While my work uses the methods and materials used in the 18th century and the ethos of “Truth to Materials” from the Arts and Craft period, My style of design is new. My pieces are totally one off, designed experimentally by seeing what works visually and construction-ally through a step by step process. I dislike repetition and so strive to make pieces which are totally different in terms of their finished overall design.

My pieces are all totally handmade; the only machine that I own and use is a band-saw which I use for roughing out and sectioning larger timbers. Everything else is done using only traditional hand tools. People may think that I do this through some romanticized notion of keeping myself in touch with the past, but primarily I don’t use machinery because I truly believe that they can give inferior results. When you work with sharp steel on timbers using your hands, you can control the cut to work with the grain orientation and the nature of the material to produce a cleaner surface with more integrity.

In my recent pieces I have attempted to engineer the making processes so that the piece can only actually be made by hand and not reproduced by machinery. This is of great importance to me as I firmly believe that true Craft can only be realized through repeatedly practiced processes together with the skill of the hand and eye.

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 1 day we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.