Craft Skills

We create furniture with integrity, furniture that is built to last, furniture that looks and feels exceptional.

We use the best materials. We buy the best quality logs, sawn to our own specification. We season the boards in our drying sheds. We select the components for our furniture with care. We want all the components in a piece of furniture to match, so we often use timber that comes from a single tree.

We look for the best figure, the richest colour. We do not use sapwood or timber with shakes and splits. We use stable, quarter-sawn oak for drawer sides. We use aromatic cedar of Lebanon for drawer bottoms.

Our furniture is a delight to touch. We plane and sand all surfaces to a silky-smooth finish and the furniture’s edges are softened with rounds.

Our drawers run smoothly because we fit them precisely. As you shut one of our doors the only resistance you can feel is the air escaping from inside the cabinet.

We want clients to appreciate our furniture over many years, so we pay attention to the details. The joint cutting is faultless. Dovetails are cut by hand.

We fix solid-wood tops with special buttons that allow for future wood movement. Our furniture will tolerate the inevitable shrinkage and expansion of timber components caused by environmental humidity fluctuations. We make sure the grain direction of inlay lines follows the grain direction of the groundwork.

Since the 1940s our furniture has been marked with the stamp of the Edward Barnsley Workshop. This is often in a discreet place It could be on the top edge of a drawer, on the back of a piece, on the underside of a chair rail, or somewhere else entirely. Today, we continue this tradition, but the makers also mark their work with their initials. Our furniture-makers take great pride in their work and it seems appropriate that they should mark it. Doing this reinforces the individuality of every piece of Barnsley Workshop furniture.

In the Edward Barnsley Workshop we draw on many years of experience of working with wood. The skills are passed from craftsman to apprentice, from generation to generation.