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"Wonderful selection of original pieces, finished to perfection, well done." [BWW]

18th-27th August 2018

Peter Lanyon Furniture

Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design


18th - 27th August 2018


Peter Lanyon Furniture

Peter Lanyon is an award-winning furniture maker renowned for combining coppiced, unseasoned wood with other materials.  He champions the use of sustainable, home-grown British hardwoods and also runs courses from his tranquil workshop in South Devon.  His methods of making furniture are quite different to many of the other exhibitors at CCD and so we asked him to elaborate on them a little…

What is coppicing and why is it important? 

Coppicing is a traditional form of woodland management which works harmoniously and sustainably with the natural environment.  Young trees are felled, opening up the canopy and maintaining the root system of the tree.  New shoots soon sprout from the stump.  Coppicing is vastly superior in terms of bio-diversity to unmanaged woodland.  I hand pick my stems from a well-managed local wood whose owner is always delighted his “wonky bits” are put to good use.


A glade of bluebells thriving in the light created by coppicing the hazel stools which will now re-grow.

 Are there particular challenges to working with green timber? 

There are no machines for splitting and shaving wood – it is all done by hand, which makes my furniture physically demanding and labour intensive to produce.  This is offset by the sheer delight of working this way – outdoors, no noise, no dust.  We season components carefully prior to assembly, so the time-scale for delivery sometimes surprises people – this is “slow” furniture, but it is always worth the wait.

 ‘Scritti’ Desk surrounded by drawknife shavings.

You have produced many beautiful designs, which are you personally most proud of and why?

My glass-topped trefoil table is a design I find immensely satisfying, and am very proud of.  I love the sculptural quality of the bent pieces, the combination of economy of materials, strength, elegance, and the way the natural tension in the wood holds the glass in place.  It is a piece many people have fallen in love with over the years – sometimes not because they need a table, simply because they enjoy the design.


Trefoil table in cherry.

 What do you hope your students will take away from a course with you?

People take away different things, depending on what they have come for.  For some it is the start of an absorbing and satisfying hobby, for others the dream of a new career, for others the simple pleasure of hand-crafting something unique and enduring – which may become a future family heirloom.  People often come with low expectations of what they can achieve - for them it is the revelation that they can make lovely furniture.


A group of Peter’s students with their creations.

As a first time exhibitor at CCD, what attracted you to take part?

I exhibit at many shows across the country, but this show has the unique reputation of showcasing the very best of the country's furniture makers.  It is a huge priviledge to be a part of this.  While furniture courses around the country are closing, it is good to know that this prestigious platform for designers makers to sell their work is still thriving.


A gaggle of lamps with wooden shades.



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