“People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.” – Bob Dylan
Wood finishing, a family history
My family have been decoratively finishing since the early 1800’s and wood finishing since the early 1900’s from London’s East end. My Grandfather, and Great Grandfather both being French polishers.
I studied at The London College of Furniture, formerly The Shoreditch Technical College. This is where I received my City and Guilds in Wood Finishing. I also have a City and Guilds certificate in Antique Restoration.
Number 38 from Clapton Ponds
I have been wood finishing for over twenty five years since the age of fifteen where my first job was working through the night with my Grandfather. Stripping and reliming the oak waiter stands in the then named Palm Court Restaurant of Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel.
I still remember the excitement of working at night and getting paid a whole fifty pounds, which was generous for a fifteen year old in 1986. (As well as pinching the leftover miniature jam pots and using them for my pigment containers in my first kit box).
Cycling from Crouch End to my Grandfathers council flat in Hackney picking up our tools and materials from his tiny backroom, which smelt of stale cigarette smoke and cellulose thinners.
Lugging our large checkered woven PVC laundry bags full of our supplies to Clapton Ponds to hop on the no. 38 routemaster to whatever West End hotel we were working at at the time. These days unfortunately I cannot fit all my tools into a couple of laundry bags. I sometimes wonder what my grandfather would make of it all.
After university where I read materials engineering I gained experience in a number of different jobs before returning to wood finishing.
Starting my own business
Working for most of London’s largest wood finishing companies I branched out on my own around 1996. Soon after I specialised in floor sanding, although I still regularly undertake antique and architectural work.
I have worked on many of London’s most distinctive and famous listed buildings and offices.
I am as happy working in a small council flat as I am in a period manor house or hotel. The quality of work I produce however, or price I charge, doesn’t change according to my surroundings.
Old timbers and the trees they came from all good furniture and architectural design are some of my interests. I find period buildings, materials and working techniques to be particularly fascinating.
I combine traditional and modern materials and techniques for finishes that are both authentic and durable. I try to treat your home or business as if it were my own and strive to be as open and honest as possible.