Background

How it all Started
We have been working with wood on a full-time basis since 1987. Initially, I made house signs, but following a request from my children for a jigsaw puzzle, I became intrigued by the ability of wood to take on a different form when cut into small pieces. At the same time I was growing increasingly interested in woodturning and the idea of producing puzzles set in turned wooden bowls occurred to me. The initial designs I produced proved very popular locally and by 1989 I was producing puzzles exclusively. It was at this time that Gill became involved by taking over all the finishing, a job which she has been doing ever since.

Awards & Achievements

Mike and Gill

1988

Assessed by the local authority and awarded the “Cornwall Concept” status for excellence in design and workmanship.

1990

The “Fishbowl” design featured in the August edition of the “Ideal Home” magazine.

1992

The Royal Cornwall Show, Craft Exhibition, Midland Bank Awards 2nd Prize Open Competition for Best Stand.

1993

Commissioned by the National Trust to produce a limited edition puzzle. The design approved was called “Duckpond”.

1995

The Royal Cornwall Show, Craft Exhibition, Midland Bank Awards 2nd Prize Open Competition for Best Stand.

1996

The Newbury & Distict Agricultural Society, 2nd Prize Product and Craft Award.

1999

Full length feature in June edition of “Timber & Wood Products”.

The Newbury & Distict Agricultural Society Winner of the Product and Craft Award.

2004

The Craftsman Magazine Award for the Best Product at the Royal County of Berkshire Show.

2005

Richard Petit Mills Salver for the Best Exhibitor
at the Royal County of Berkshire Show

2006

Full length feature in May edition of “Craftsman Magazine”. 

The Craftsman Magazine Award for the Best Product at the Royal County of Berkshire Show.

Production
Most of my designs combine the two disciplines of wood turning and fretwork, with occasional use of routing and abrasive techniques to produce the required shapes. I have a choice of over forty varieties of wood, much of which comes as offcuts from timber merchants. I use only hardwoods, with the exception of yew, and in my work I try to emphasize the natural colour and beauty of the wood. All the puzzles are oiled using Danish Oil and polished by hand. In addition, the bowls and trays are given a beeswax polish, resulting in a finish that is soft and smooth to the touch.

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Mike fretting
Gill fretting Mike turning a bowl