During my career as a designer and wood craftsman, I've been able to work on several public and/or 'high profile' projects as well as numerous private commissions. Details about some of these are provided below.
Nowadays, my emphasis is on both teaching green woodworking here in the Woodland Workshop in West Dorset and designing and building spaces for accommodation and work here in the woods.
Crafty Camping and the entire Woodland Workshop are in effect a portfolio of recent work. Designing and building all of these structures is very much my current passion, and the ongoing development work is both creatively fulfilling and physically satisfying work. It must be said, corporate boardrooms and contemporary public installations seem a world away from the ongoing developments of the woods. The Woodsman's Treehouse is the most recent project and plans are afoot for another treehouse project soon.
I was commissioned to make this hay loft ladder for a restoration project. It is made from cleft Ash, and uses the natural shrinkage of the unseasoned sides round the dried rungs to lock the structure together.
As the ladder will be used and stored outside, the joints are also pegged using seasoned pegs.
The ladder was made entirely by hand, using timber specifically felled for the piece, from nearby to the restoration project.
My 'Wishbone Stool' kitchen bar stool was designed in response to a brief to produce a stool in the greenest way possible.
The stool is made entirely by hand from a single freshly cut Ash log. I personally sourced the timber locally, from a sustainably managed woodland, and extracted it by horse. The craft techniques I employed are ancient and labour intensive, using axes, froes, pole lathes, drawknives, shaving horses and spokeshaves. The result is that I hand-crafted each individual component to the greatest extent possible, carefully following each piece of grain to achieve both the maximum strength and the most satisfying aesthetic effect.
The Wishbone Stool uses natural shrinkage when seasoning to lock the joints, the time-proven technique used in the traditional construction of Windsor chairs. I didn't use any glue, and no screws or nails were necessary either.
I finished the stool using soap, an environmentally sound treatment that, literally, washes out the grain. After several treatments the stool was ready for use. Over time the wood will build-up a patina and any dirty marks can be cleaned with soap again.
The seat was oak-bark tanned leather from my local tannery, with a horse hair cushion within. The seat can be removed when the stool is being cleaned, using the buckle system underneath.
The LABAN project by architects Herzog & De Meuron represented the first major public installation using Bendywood®. We worked closely with the architects to develop a system and set of "rules" to create 250 metres of undulating and organic handrail that leads people around the building.
The entire installation was drawn up on CAD in our studio and printed out full size; jigs were then made in the workshop before bending and jointing 150 sections. The experience of this project enabled us to develop the use of Bendywood® in handrail production and the latest method of dry rolling handrails using metalworking technology.
LABAN won the 2003 Stirling Prize and 2003 FX International Interior Design Award.
Photography: John Blythe, Dennis Gilbert
Design, manufacture and installation of most of the specialist furniture for the Walt Disney headquarters in Hammersmith, London. The project included the public spaces - receptions, bars and link tunnels - as well as the private managing director's office, main boardroom and video conferencing room.
Design, manufacture and installation of most of the specialist furniture at 64 Knightsbridge, a conversion of a former bank into a serviced office facility.
Mallinson Ltd took the brief, developed design proposals, produced working drawings and manufactured the various elements at our Fulham workshops, and project-managed the installation of all the specialist joinery in the public spaces and individual offices.
From dining rooms to kitchens, humidors to home cinemas. One-off commissions have included work for the Sultan of Brunei, Eddie Jordan, TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Claridges and The Lanesborough Hotel. Projects have ranged from dining rooms and kitchens to humidor cabinets and home cinemas. The emphasis has been on contemporary design and craftsmanship, predominantly in wood.
Note: we do not publish pictures of private houses unless previously published and only with the client's authorisation.
Photography: John Blythe
Mallinson Ltd explored many aspects of the potential of Bendywood® and continues on design development work. The projects in this section show some early work - although not in production, they demonstrate how we work to find the most appropriate uses for the material.
I also developed mechanised furniture, in particular for the audio-visual field including a prototype for a Plasma Pod™, developed in conjunction with architect Kathryn Findlay, for Sheikh Saoud Bin Mohd, Bin Ali Al-Thani of Qatar.
Photography: John Blythe