Our Story

Our Story

After 20 years in the photographic and advertising industry I left Sydney and made a treechange to a remote area at the head of the Hunter River.

Having grown up in the UK I was familiar with Windsor chairs where they were quite commonplace, but in that interim period, it wasn’t until I worked with a Sydney antique furniture restorer, that my interest and passion for the Windsor chair began. Over the next few years, I practised chairmaking techniques and in 1994 I started chairmaking courses at the Moonan workshop.

That led to an invitation to be visiting artist at The School of Wood and Furniture Design at the Australian National University in Canberra – a relationship which was to last for the next 7 years.

I have also conducted summer and winter schools at the Sturt School of Wood and was resident visiting artist there in 2007.

To date I have personally made close to 500 chairs and through my teaching, around another 1,200 chairs have been created.

In 2003 I had the fortune of meeting Geoff Tonkin on one of my courses and he returned the following year. Since then our friendship has developed and in 2011 we collaborated and have run courses at his wonderful workshop near Molong, Central West NSW. Geoff is a highly talented artisan who also creates fine furniture and beautiful musical instruments as well as being a fine musician. For details, his website is www.geofftonkin.com.au

Rare•Chairs Howard and Geoff at the Molong Workshop
Howard Rare•Chairs Howard and Geoff at the Molong Workshop