Latest News & Blog

On the straight and narrow

446 Words - Posted on 19th Sep 2018

A straight edge means a flat surface There is something of an obsession at Rowden about the use of straight edges. If I’m honest, there’s something of an obsession about just about everything to do with making here, which is as it should be. But ... more

The Art of Workmanship

337 Words - Posted on 16th Sep 2018

There’s workmanship of risk and there’s bad design David Pye wrote The Nature and Art of Workmanship. It is a book we recommend to every Rowden student, and one I certainly recommend to you. David goes a long way to help explain why hand made ... more

Uphill struggles

283 Words - Posted on 10th Sep 2018

Sunny every day I’d love to be able to say that every day as a cabinet maker is all roses and sunshine. That we skip to work, whistling a merry tune, and that the furniture practically makes itself.  Sad to say, it just ain’t so. Some days ... more

Desk by Tom McIntyre: A picture is worth a thousand words

289 Words - Posted on 3rd Sep 2018

woodworking course

Luckily for me, we have a pictures of this stunning desk made by Rowden student, Tom McIntyre. Otherwise I’d have been here for ages trying to explain just how Tom managed to make such a deceptively simple and elegant desk! Tom likes curved ... more

Wood: Keep looking

400 Words - Posted on 26th Aug 2018

Machine room timber image triptych left

Furniture making keeps you humble, no two ways about it. Pieces made from this wonderful substance we call wood simply can’t be thrown together. Do that and you’ll end up with junk. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Literally every piece of ... more

Bold or discreet?

364 Words - Posted on 20th Aug 2018

So, I was watching Antiques Roadshow the other day. It doesn’t happen often, but I am aware that every once in a while something grabs your attention. And it’s always a bit of fun to watch people’s faces when they find out what their hoardings ... more

Cabinetmakers: Don’t confuse a romantic with a push over

311 Words - Posted on 15th Aug 2018

Capitalism has done wonders for making a lot of people a lot of money. It has also helped turn a lot of people into really not nice people to know. Markets are dominated, the competition crushed. Business leaders are more and more like hard-nosed ... more

Somerset Guild 7th Annual Furniture Prize

204 Words - Posted on 11th Aug 2018

Jack Pawsey eucalyptus and walnut sideboard design

Jack Pawsey's ATEN Credenza took this years first prize in the full time category I am delighted to announce that Rowden students have triumphed once again at the Somerset Guild Annual Furniture Prize. This year we took both first and second place ... more

Ebony and Ivory

320 Words - Posted on 9th Aug 2018

Live together on really expensive old pianos but no longer have any place on contemporary furniture. And hurray for that! It’s come to our notice that fewer and fewer people are interested in exotic hardwoods, but that doesn’t mean ... more

Work life balance

476 Words - Posted on 6th Aug 2018

What does it really mean? Just about anyone you meet who has spent a good amount of time building a career, sometimes but not always a professional career, will tell you that the hardest thing is balancing work and life.  To be successful, to ... more