“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree.
As our celebrated fellow West-Countryman put it so well, an intimate knowledge of trees and the sustainable origins of our woods defines the quality of our craftsmanship. This is why, as confirmed tree-huggers, all the timber we use is English grown.
We maintain our own ancient indigenous broadleaf woodland on the banks of the river Avon, Devon, and additionally source from local businesses whose forestry skills and understanding (regarding the careful selection of timber, for example) span decades, sometimes centuries. We collaborate with tree-surgeons to repurpose beautiful English hardwood stems that are often sadly inadvertently processed for firewood. We take great pride in maintaining such relationships, which not only enrich our own professional savoir-faire, but are fundamental to the sustainable future of generations of woodworkers to come.
Our Gloucestershire workshop is the fruit of this longstanding passion for trees and a lifetime spent honing our knowledge of wood craft. The Fine Wooden Article Co. was founded by Peter Meredith, a classic boat builder whose passion for the meticulous art of working with wood started as a young apprentice, learning the trade from master craftsmen and eventually graduating in naval architecture. As with all artisans, we believe that good design means a responsible use of resources.
At the Fine Wooden Article Co. we combine technological innovation with traditional know-how to create high quality designs in sympathy with the lovely & unique irregularities of each piece of wood. The origin of all handmade wooden furniture starts with the wood itself and its natural characteristics: strength, grain & colour. Once chosen and cut, we prepare the wood by taking great care to preserve these qualities.
When a tree is growing, and even after it has been cut down, it is described as ‘green’, meaning that it contains a great deal of moisture. Once we have selected the wood and brought it to our workshop, we take it through a process of air-drying – a traditional method of reducing its moisture content, which we find ensures the best preservation of the wood's qualities. As the timber sits patiently, sometimes for years, we monitor it until it is ready, or ‘seasoned’. Only then is the timber stable enough to use for furniture or interior joinery that will stand the test of time.
Our design process is inspired by the character of each type of wood, yet informed as much by our technical skill as by the ideas and bespoke requirements of our clients. We delight in applying our training and problem-solving skills to your needs, to fashion fine workmanship that is cherished for its ingenious functionalities as well as for its intrinsic elegance. Our core range of products (in our SHOP) is designed to be personalised, available in various finishes and customisations. Our bespoke design service spans private commissions to collaborations with interior designers, architects, theatre professionals and the yachting world.
In all things we are fuelled by a deep passion for woodworking and the satisfaction of sharing this with the wider public. Whether large or small, we carry out our commitment to ethically sourced, high quality craftsmanship from initial concept to completion, providing you with timeless pieces of beauty and a stake in our natural English heritage.
As we have a bottomless enthusiasm for all things related to woodworking, we regularly update our blog with stories from our workshop.
We look forward to working with you,
Peter & the team.