With over 35 years experience in woodworking it is my passion to build quality functional custom furniture pieces with clean elegant lines, incorporating quiet details and accents to enhance visual vitality. The work of cabinet making, the designing, joining and finishing of a piece has always appealed to me. The process demands the use of both the hands and the mind. My deepest satisfaction comes from designing a piece that is both useful and interesting while enhancing the customers home.
It was in the North East of England that I was introduced to woodworking through my father. Little did I imagine this initial exposure to wood and tools would lead to a lifelong love of making furniture. After leaving school I served a traditional woodworking apprenticeship by attending the Newcastle College of Arts & Technology, completing a 4 year City & Guilds Institute course in 1980. I spent 25 years as a journeyman woodworker producing everything from kitchen cabinetry to fine furniture. Working along side many talented craftsmen during this time allowed me to hone the skills and gain the experience I needed to build the fine furniture I produce today as John Parkinson Furniture.
In 2005 after moving to the United States and locating in Austin, TX I started John Parkinson Furniture. This new venture has had the unforeseen benefit of making me a better craftsman. Being responsible for the quality of every detail in a project is not to be taken lightly when a customer is putting their trust in you. During my 10 years in Austin I was a regular exhibitor a the annual West Austin Studio Tour (WEST). It was during this time that I started offering woodworking classes in my own shop as a way of passing on some of the skills and knowledge I have learned. I continue to offer these classes in my new location.
In 2014 I was honored to receive the award for best contemporary piece at the Texas Furniture Makers Show, with my winning piece being featured in Woodworker West magazine. In 2011 I began woodworking with the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Hand Tool Event team teaching hand tool skills to both novices and experienced woodworkers at events around the country. In 2016 one of my instructional articles was published in Fine Woodworking’s Tools & Shops issue.
Since June 2015 John Parkinson Furniture has been located in Durham, NC where I continue to make heirloom quality custom furniture for discerning customers across the United States.