I have always been using my hands making things from a very early age starting with a simple nestbox.
At age 16 I started a four year carpentry and joinery apprenticeship in Oxford where most of the training was spent in the college buildings and old oak framed shops of the city. Once completed I grabbed the backpack and hitched-hiked my way everywhere using this new skill to pay the way.
In my twenties I went to Nottingham Trent University to study photography. I started also painting and making my new idea Light-Sculptures. I couldn't see the point in just sticking to one medium. My student house was crammed in every corner and wall space with my loud work. I exhibited in Nottingham and London during this time. Consequently I found work in specialist photography labs and on cruise-ships as a photographer.
I returned to woodwork at the age of 30 and haven't stopped loving my craft. I spent five years employed as shopfitter and in so doing ended up working in many different cities ultimately ending up in London where I decided to work only for myself as a sole trader and dealing with clients myself.
I am second generation Italian raised by parents who as children had to work the land in southern Italy. They emigrated to Oxford where I was born and raised. They imbued in us children a catholic, hands-on, can-do attitude at home and at work. In 2005 I moved to the bohemian city of Brighton where I promptly met my Japanese wife on the beach. We now have two young children. My wife is Shinto so religiously speaking it is and will be an interesting, pragmatic and gregarious environment to grow up in. Cooking decent fresh food and sitting down together as a family unit is fundamental. But hard with young children. We have a new large chemical-free garden where I have discovered my green-fingers. Recently planted with slow-growing fruit trees and vines. Opposite we have acquired an allotment plot too.
I always look for the sustainability FSC logo on timber purchased. To meet a clients budget MDF is often used; it's cheap, easy to use and is FSC - After all it is reclaimed wood dust.
I am a member of The Woodland Trust and I will donate 1% of profit from each commission to this charity.
My own hand-built workshop has a green roof for it's lovely appearance and for insulation. Renewable energy is used to power it and the home through a green energy provider for both gas and electricity. In it I make small scale furniture and artistic projects, though predominantly most of my work is undertaken and built in situ on site.
I have a woodburner in the insulated workshop, and in the insulated house where I do save on my winter energy bills burning my waste timber off-cuts: It's free and efficient heat generation and there is no need to purchase logs.
I do not like having waste wood left, so I try to use any leftover timber on the next job as much as is feasible.