zen funiture work shop emsworth

Welcome to the Zen Furniture website


The Zen Furniture Workshop was formed in 2002. As all things Zen it too evolved first out of necessitaty, Ian and I were both looking to rent a workshop initially to make our own designs. We were fortunate enough to find a workshop in the heart of Emsworth, Hampshire and by sharing we were able to share the overheads, bounce ideas of each other and it is always useful to have an extra pair of hands during complex glue ups and lifting heavy pieces of timber. We designed furniture and made these designs ourselves to own exacting standards. These early pieces were made for ourselves however we also exhibited in national shows and local exhibitions all of this inadvertently helped to promote us and before we knew it we had a full order book.

Although we both have our own individual design tastes these compliment each other Sean has been trained in the Arts & Crafts tradition and tends to design with solid wood in mind he tends to make a feature of the construction and jointing of each piece right down to the styling of the handles and fittings. Ian’s influence has rubbed off and as a result we try to be more sustainable when it comes to sourcing our timber and we now favour local grown hard woods.

Ian is more of a minimalist and tends to strip a design right down to the bones he likes nicely proportioned unfussy furniture with sleek lines. At times he has moments of madness and yearns to make a piece of furniture that makes a statement and if he can incorporate fur & chrome nipples on it all the better for he baulks at brown reproduction furniture. Ian achieved a master’s degree and his research report concentrated on sustainable design in education an issue he feels passionate about and when ever he can introduces into his design.

Today when we have a commission it is very much of a two way dialogue between the customer and us - we have a braining storming session to find their likes and dislikes, their requirements and where the piece is located from this we “ compose” the piece dropping ideas that don’t work and tweaking until it does. We know when we are there when everyone is in agreement and the piece looks and feels right. We have embraced computer technology and use a computer drawing package to present our ideas in 3D to enable our customers to visualise the end product.

Why Zen? you’ll have to meditate on it: I can’t tell you or it wouldn’t be Zen!!