Meet the Team: Joe Orchard

Jo Orchard

We would like to introduce you to our team!  We continue our series with Joe Orchard who joined the workshop as an apprentice in 2005 and is now our Senior Craftsman.

What did you do before you started as an apprentice at the Barnsley Workshop?

Before starting as an apprentice, I studied a two-year National Diploma Course in furniture-making at Rycotewood College, and before that I did an NVQ in handcrafted furniture at Highbury College for six months.

What attracted you to the Barnsley Workshop apprenticeship?

I was attracted to the apprenticeship after a college tutor advised me to make a visit to the workshop. I remember being in awe of the level of craftsmanship, and I wanted to produce work to the same standard.

How did you feel when you first started your training?

I felt very nervous. I knew I was very privileged to be offered the apprenticeship. I wanted to make the most of the opportunity, but it was clear from day one how much I had to learn.

Looking back what was for you the most significant lesson?

Measure twice, cut once.

What have been the highlights of your time at the workshop?

There have been so many highlights. I have had the pleasure of working on lots of interesting projects. It is indescribable how satisfying it is to turn one of James’s designs into an actual piece worthy of the Barnsley stamp.

What has been your most challenging project?

Every project has its own challenges. However, my most challenging project to date has been a pair of collector’s cabinets with starburst veneer patterns on the fronts and sides and with 44 pull-out trays.

If you could choose to make anything, what would be your dream project?

I would love to make a piece that is awarded a Guild mark by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers