Lifetimber is a happy accident in some ways. For many years, I worked full time in education, teaching science to 11- to 18-year olds and specialising in the pastoral care of young people.
I had a successful career until 2018, but my single-minded drive to achieve the very best for the young people in my care left little time for anything else.
After suffering nerve damage and years of chronic pain, I was eventually diagnosed with severe depression and was advised to take an extended break from teaching to focus on my own wellbeing, not the wellbeing of others. Confronting the fact that I was very unwell indeed led to anxiety and withdrawal from the community and society. Then woodwork stepped in to help. Never one to be able to sit still, but feeling unable to be with people, I retreated to my windowless garage and built a bench.
Feeling in control of my surroundings and having a plan to move forwards was the true start of my recovery. First came some windows for the garage (handmade from second life timber and reclaimed glass) and the workshop and the core ideals of Lifetimber grew from there.
Whenever possible in Lifetimber products I use second life timber: timber that has had a previous life as something else, is salvaged or often was waste or offcuts from other woodworkers. Most of the wood that I use is reclaimed or offcut hardwoods that are naturally slow growing. This timber is always beautiful and often has character that means it was hard for others to use. I always work with the natural beauty of the wood, highlighting, celebrating and enhancing the natural flaws, knots and patina.