Ruth Thompson


In 1975 I trained to become an Industrial Arts teacher at the University of NSW. It was here I was introduced to the refined art of producing beautiful artefacts by the wonderful silversmith Helge Larsen.

Over the next 35 years I taught high school students wood-based curriculum years 7 to 12 focussing on developing their design ethos and high-quality manufacturing skills.

During this time, I gained a Churchill fellowship (1998), which allowed me to participate in a 3-month furniture design programme at The Royal College of Art in London.

2015 was time for a change; this led me to spend the year at Sturt School for Wood. This was a year of reflection as well as an invaluable opportunity to hone my making and design skills.

My workshop is situated in the Southern Highlands where I manufacture domestic furniture for gallery sale and on commission. I also run small group classes.

Though somewhat a cliché, I believe that form follows function. Products should be ergonomic, satisfying pragmatic use of the artefact while being beautiful, satisfying our aesthetic appreciation.

I am inspired by the creative achievements of the members of the Shaker and Bauhaus design movements; the clean lines, use of geometric shape and colour.

To this end I use a mix of traditional and contemporary manufacturing techniques using solid timber and veneers. I incorporate decorative elements utilising exquisite veneers together with luxury textiles in upholstery.

I enjoy creating high quality artefacts that provoke a response in the viewer.