"I am a designer and maker of bespoke wooden furniture, using everything from traditional woodworking skills to contemporary technology to create modern heritage pieces."In a previous life I worked in retail managment and then IT project management, and carry the people skills and eye for detail through into my furniture company. I re-trained at the fantastic Williams and Cleal International Fine Furniture school on Exmoor in Somerset, where I learnt everything from traditional hand tool skills to the use of 21st century milling machines. The schools tutors can trace a clear linage back to the Arts & Crafts movement and its principles of design simplicity and material intelligence it. Although my grandfather was a carpenter and mechanical engineer and I have fond memories of his workshop, I only thought about woodworking as a career change after I completed some volunteer work in the forests of Ecuador. After several years at a desk I fancied doing something outdoors and physical and so the volunteering agency sent me to a village in the cloud forests on the pacific slopes of the Andes, where I was invited to stay with a lumberjack, Miguel and his family. As well as teaching English to everyone in the village in the evenings (terrifying!), I helped Miguel to fell and drag trees out of the forest during the day. I cut my hands to pieces, I nearly took my head off with a chain saw but generally I had a fantastic time. The forest was full of rainbow coloured parrots, lizards the size of dogs and these bizarre but beautiful heliconia flowers at the base of each tree we felled. The heliconia name seemed like a good fit for a woodworking business; natural but somehow full of engineering. Now based in Bermondsey, South East London - I provide a bespoke commission service for private individuals and commercial businesses.