I am a furniture designer-maker, I founded Petrel with the goal of producing beautiful furniture to be cherished for many years.
Prior to establishing Petrel, I had a successful career in the city in sales for a global brokerage. My day's involved being at a desk, surrounded by computer screens. I worked incredibly hard, but I knew I wanted to do something different. I wanted to use my hands; I wanted to create something.
So I embarked on a journey. I undertook intensive training in fine furniture making, in the beautiful rolling hills of Ditchling, East Sussex. After a concentrated year of learning, and armed with valuable skills, knowledge and practical experience, I established Petrel.
I wanted Petrel to have at its heart, principles I believe in. So our pieces are elegant, pared down designs, full of beautiful details. Made using the traditional hand skills I learnt and which have been handed down throughout the years.
Petrel champions using British woods, which we hand-pick from small specialist suppliers. There are a wonderful range of woods native to the UK, I am passionate about sharing this variety with clients. Whilst there are undoubtedly beautiful woods available from other parts of the world, I am concerned with how resources are being used. I believe we have a responsibility to think of the world’s resources, as well as our own design agenda.
A petrel is a small seabird. They are well known to fisherman as they can sometimes be found following in the wake of boats. In maritime history, petrels were often associated with bad weather.
I was struck by this species of little bird, which spends the vast majority of its time over water and can ride out gales and weather storms. Just imagine all that they must see on their journeys over the seas…
In many ways I saw a similarity between the perilous journey of a small bird weathering storms to reach safe harbour and starting out in a second career. Creating fine furniture is a demanding journey, it is hard work, but the joy in seeing a finished piece sitting proudly in its new home makes it all worthwhile.
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