© 2017 created by Robert Blackburn. Proudly created with Wix.com

 

ABOUT

I moved to France in 2003 and am a member of the Chambre de Métiers & Métiers d’Art in Charente. I am a fully registered and insured Artisan woodworker/sculptor and furniture maker.

 

I have been working with wood since I was a child. Whilst living in south-west of England I was accepted as a member of Cornwall Crafts Association displaying my work in Trelowarren Estate and Trellisic House, furthering my knowledge and skills in the craft of furniture making and wood turning.

 

I specialise in the design and creation of fine contemporary furniture, made to commission; and can produce either individual pieces or entire room schemes for either the home, or workplace. All projects are made in my workshop of 150 m2 to exacting standards embracing both traditional and modern techniques of craftsmanship.

 

MY STORY

                                inspiration 

Based in the South-West of France in the Charente, I am constantly inspired by the nature around me. I am passionate about the wood used in my work and always try to get the most out of the grain, patterns and texture of the timber paying close attention to the overall form and functionality of the piece.  Clean lines and simple decoration allows the wood to express itself; I endeavour to ensure my work reflects your needs and personality so the finished piece enhances your environment.

                                conservation 

I care deeply about the conservation of our planet and believe I can make a difference supporting sustainable forestry practice by using local native timber wherever possible. Knowledge about this practice came from previous jobs in my younger years as well as from  working with “Working Woodlands” association in Cornwall. All the wood I use is always personally hand selected and I strive to source it all from local sources. The hardwoods I generally use are oak, ash & olive ash, walnut, and chestnut; all of which grow in abundance and are coppiced and harvested here in the South Charente.

                                 my journey 

My ‘journeyman’ path lead me on to moving South-West from the Midlands to supply my work to many galleries across the South-West of England, including the Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Dartington Glass and St Eval Candles amongst others. I have worked for various private and prestigious clients and even the occasional celebrity seeing my work travel to Europe and beyond - Japan, North and South America and Australia.

                     restoration & renovation

These days see me busy working for clients living in the proximity of my home in St Romain; making furniture, doors - interior & exterior, staircases, pergolas and covered terraces etc. I also undertake renovation works including but not limited to windows, kitchens, flooring, etc.

My experience in carving in both wood and stone, as well as my long-learned skills of traditional joints and wood working are indispensable in my craft.

                                 early years 

At the age of 13, I was given the opportunity to go on a days’ beating for a nearby pheasant shoot and soon found myself working there in all my spare time. After leaving school at the age of 16, I went on to work at Belvoir Castle for the Duke of Rutland as his under-keeper at the same time as studying conservation, forestry and bee-keeping at Winchester College. I went on to work briefly at Broadlands Estate, where, by this time, my love of trees and conservation of our countryside was firmly embedded.

                                     free-time 

Putting down my saw and chisels, I love the outdoors. I am lucky to live in a beautiful place with nature all around me; and can slip outside to watch the roe deer eating in the fields, the occasional boar running through the thickets and even a couple of osprey who have set up home nearby. I have also picked up my old passion of body boarding, so when the surf is up on the west coast, I’m in the waves, dipping and diving. Evenings are spent in the garden planting seeds and hoeing weeds. I love nature, being in it, amongst the trees, enjoying the simple things in life - watching a sun rise and a sun set. That’s where you’ll find me.