Richard established the family business, Donkersley Artisan Furniture Makers, in 1996. He has been designing and making furniture for more than 25 years, since studying those skills at Rycotewood College, Oxford in the early 90s.
He is inspired by the simplicity of American Shaker Furniture, the honesty of English Arts and Crafts Furniture as well as the traditional vernacular of Country Furniture and the style of Scandinavian Furniture. Using traditional joinery skills for decorative effect as well as structural integrity, he believes furniture should be a pleasure to own and use and it should last a lifetime. For Richard there is a joy in a wedged tenon or dovetail, and in wooden surfaces that are tactile and which shimmer in the light.
“My father and grandfather were excellent woodworkers and I remember being given beautiful wooden toys at Christmas and birthdays. Looking back, my vocation was always to be making things, almost inevitably with wood. Perhaps there are grander destinies out there! But there is none I’d rather have. I have an affinity with wood, an affection for working with it. Designing the perfect piece for a home, selecting the very best materials and then setting to work on them is a process I find exceptionally pleasing. I especially like using hand-tools to complete the work, the very close detailing in every finish. When a plane is really sharp it makes a beautiful sound with each shaving which I simply love! To pursue perfection and make something that will last far into the future brings me – and my clients - no small satisfaction.”
All Richard’s bespoke furniture is handmade in his workshop in Hemyock, Devon, in the beautiful Blackdown Hills.