David Upfill-Brown

David set out in the 70’s as a sculptor, carving both stone and wood in Central and Southern Africa. Disenchanted with the then growing trend towards conceptual art he began to focus on furniture and in 1980/81 studied furniture making and design at Parnham, John Makepeace’s school, in England under the remarkable tutelage of Robert Ingham. From 1982 to 1999 with his wife Hermione he ran a bespoke furniture workshop in Tharwa near Canberra, Australia.

Teaching a little there and part time with George Ingham for eight years at the Wood Studio of the Australian National University culminated in his appointment as inaugural academic director of the Australian School of Fine Furniture in Tasmania in 2000. After four years there and then five as lead instructor of the Nine Month Comprehensive at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine USA he now continues to teach in Maine for up to three months annually.

David believes that to begin to understand wood one has first to work it by hand and that once hand methods become habitual it is often more economical for bespoke or one-off furniture makers to work manually than to rely entirely on machinery. Well-developed hand skills, increasing versatility, also allow him to push the boundaries of design.