Sam Chinnery | designer & craftsman
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A b o u t

Having completed an honours degree in immunology at Edinburgh University in 1998 I realised that my future did not lie within the intricacies of science but in an earlier love of wood and design.

I was lucky to grow up in a very creative environment. My parents are both highly skilled craftspeople and run a small woodcarving and gilding business creating and repairing fine furniture and mirrors at their workshop in southern Scotland. From an early age I was drawn to the beauty of wood and spent most of my time in the workshop developing my skills, exploring design and building a deep appreciation of the subtleties of this wonderful material. After my time at Edinburgh I decided that furniture making was to be my chosen life and set up SamChinnery Furniture in 2001. Seeking to refine my skills and broaden my experience I went to work at Andrew Lawton Furniture in 2004. Andrew runs a small workshop in Derbyshire renowned both for excellence in design and the highest level of traditional craft skills. During my time there I worked with Andrew on various commissions as well as continuing to develop my own furniture. In late 2006 I moved back to scotland to set up my own workshop.

My furniture and ethos

Although each piece of furniture I make is unique, as a designer I do not strive for uniqueness. I strive to make furniture that will be loved today and everyday for its lasting beauty and purpose.

Simple forms, geometric shapes, curves and the play of light all characterise my work. Inspiration comes from many areas. Starting with the clients brief and the situation of the piece, it can be found in our surroundings, in ways of construction, in other areas of design, in the materials being used. Materials that have included wood, stainless steel, glass, precious metals, resin. Only imagination is a limit.

Wood has a special place in my furniture. I feel that of all materials wood is the most rewarding and exciting to work with. The virtually infinite variety of colours and textures combined with the strength, warmth and beauty of the wood alone inspires and influences my design more than anything else.

I aim to combine good design, carefully chosen materials with the finest level of craftsmanship. Craftsmanship that produces drawers that glide, doors that close on a cushion of air and construction that will live longer than you or I.

Due to wood being a natural material I find using natural oils and waxes to finish the furniture allows the wood to move, breathe and improve with age.

I am very conscious of the source of the wood I use and try to work with locally sourced timber if possible. Everything I use is from sustainable sources. I can but try to bring some of the beauty and grace of the living trees into the furniture I shape from them.

Sam Chinnery