I have worked with wood professionally since 1978, serving an apprenticeship as a joiner and qualifying in 1981, while working in the boating industry fitting yachting interiors. During this time I also worked in cabinetmaking workshops, producing traditional furniture from indigenous woods, in the Knysna/Tstsikama area. Furniture making became a passion and I left in 1982 to do the City and Guilds of London advanced course in fine craftsmanship and design at Rycotewood College. After a period of working abroad I returned to Knysna to set up my own workshop, working between fitting yacht interiors and making bespoke furniture pieces. The time spent working “on the water” gave me an opportunity to develop hand tool skills which have become the defining feature of my work. I no longer work on yachts, but do incorporate the techniques learned into the furniture I make. Over the years I have been involved in training and skills transfer programs, and have various options for traditional joinery and hand tool courses. My work aims to address a function, while enriching people’s lives, to make intelligent and lasting use of a very special material.

Ps. Have tools, will travel. 

Richard Henley © 2020