Chris Schwarz's Blog

A Tour of David Savage’s Workshop and School

David Savage in his personal shop at Rowden.

David Savage in his personal shop at Rowden.

For the last two weeks I’ve been teaching a course and taking a class in veneering at David Savage’s school and workshop, which sits on a farm in rural Devon.

It is an inspiring place where amateurs and professionals hone their skills to the highest level – piston-fit drawers, London-pattern dovetails, drawing, design, veneering and French polishing. And unlike many places I’ve taught, the makers there make no distinction between hand- and power-tool work. Both are taught in equal measure and the students there are encouraged to exploit every tool to its fullest, from the shaper down to the marking knife.

The workshops are in one of the most rural parts of England, filled with narrow roads, farms, hills and few houses. So there are little distractions. You phone isn’t likely to work, nor is your GPS or other devices. Internet is slow and spotty.

So you have to feel your way through the work by hand and by eye – and late into the evening.

Below is a gallery of photos that offer a tour of the workshops at the Rowden Atelier from by David, Daren Millman and the other full-time instructors at the school and professional furniture shop.

Take a look.

— Christopher Schwarz