I first considered carpentry as a career after spending 5 years working at sea and in far flung corners. I was looking to come back to Cornwall and do something a little more land-based and local after that time away, and was lucky to be given a chance to learn wood and timber based skills by a number of people, namely old friend Colin Milburn. I embarked on an apprenticeship scheme with him in 2002, and with the support of the Silvanus Trust had a great opportunity to get real hands-on experience in a wide range of green wood working projects.
He also introduced me to Mike Abbott and Tino Rawnsley, skilled and passionate woodsmen, and timber-framer Jamie Lovekin, with whom I really learnt the skills in traditional heavy timber building. Through Jamie I met Joel Hendry, Stefan Roux and Matt Robinson, and it's in this way, by working and learning alongside skilled and genuine craftsmen, that I was able to set up my own enterprise in 2004. My Grandfather left me a small workshop of fine old tools when he died which continue to give service to this day. Although the learning process continues every day, I've now been directly involved in over 100 timber-framed building projects since then, and have personally overseen over 75 of these in the 15 years since this journey began.
I like to think that we continue to work alongside one another, collaborating instead of competing, and building a pool of talented carpenters that can offer a full range of services to the construction carpentry sector in Cornwall.
It doesn't really take that many people to lift a 4m Douglas Fir tie beam, but I couldn't have done a thing without the help, past and present, brain and brawn.