Partridge Green furniture maker Anthony Jackson

Anthony at work

Anthony at work - Credit: Archant

“Like most creative people, I was always in my element when working with my hands,” says Anthony Jackson of how he first became a furniture maker. “As a child I would draw, paint, construct things out of cardboard and tape – whatever was to hand, I would fashion something out of it.”

After training in Mechanical Engineering, he discovered New Designers Exhibition, Islington in 1993, where he saw the work of many graduates from furniture design and craft-led courses exhibiting their final pieces. “I was so inspired by the idea that I could potentially make a future career out of doing something I was passionate about; it was a no-brainer.”

Anthony was sold on the idea but had never used a chisel, so he needed to find a way of gaining as much experience as he could in the shortest possible time. After talking to many people and visiting some established cabinet-makers’ workshops, he decided a furniture-making course was his best option. “A year later I was accepted on a three-year degree course in Furniture Design & Craftsmanship at Buckinghamshire College of Brunel University, which is where my future in furniture began.”

Following on from his degree, he has had a broad creative experience in design, project management, manufacture and craftsmanship gained over 16 years, which led him to found his Sussex-based fine furniture company in 2003. “Since that time I have established a reputation for beautiful heritage pieces, and my hand-crafted custom furniture is in homes and commercial properties around the UK, Europe and the Middle East.”

For furniture-makers in the making, Anthony says that experience is everything. “If you are thinking to make a living out of making bespoke furniture, you can never have enough hands-on experience. Talk to others who are doing the same thing. Having the benefit of someone else’s expertise, which is often gained over many years through trial and error, can be a huge help in learning some of the many techniques cabinet-makers need to know about. Oh, and it helps if you have the patience of a saint, too!”

Anthony grew up near Ashdown Forest, and “loved the sense of freedom cycling around the countryside could bring. I often look to nature for inspiration. We are very lucky to be surrounded by so much natural beauty in Sussex. You don’t have to look far to be inspired.”

Anthony exhibits throughout the year as a Guild Member at Sussex Guild shows. He is also promoted in London and New York by Saffron Interior Arts, a global collection of fine artisan designers and makers. 01403 713355;

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