Sam Archer

"I was born in 1970 and from the age of 5 raised in Kent by the seaside. Life was not that strict. I have great memories, my parents taught me well and helped mould me into the person I am today. Dad was a big inspiration even though he did not know one end of a screwdriver from the other…"

My woodwork, metalwork and craft, design and technology teachers were the next people to inspire me. I know I disappointed them when I dropped their fascinating classes for typing, accounting and sociology as I imagined a high flying life in an office to be more in keeping with my future. Something to do with not wanting to work outside in the cold in winter, if I remember correctly.

Tinkering with things in the garage - or more commonly my workshop (aka my bedroom) - was a common theme much to my parents' dismay, as I would often modify some perfectly functioning item that I had pestered them to buy me.

My mum's hallway was the showcase of the first big project: a wall mounted telephone cabinet made of laminated-real-wood-effect chipboard that I made at school. I still have the cutting edge dowel marking and drilling kit that I used for it in my current workspace. It brings back fond memories, as well as those of dodgy 70's wallpaper.

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Having flown the nest, I ended up in a shared house with all my gadgets but nothing appropriate to place them on. Money was not in abundance so I created an all-encompassing entertainment unit using a bunch of MDF, M8 threaded rods, nuts and washers.

That thing held everything electrical I owned and was, frankly, a behemoth.

This principle provided much inspiration for many other projects and eventually the first table, known as the 'guitar' table, came to fruition when I was living in a cool East London warehouse in early 2000. It was the first time I had used gabions (wire cages holding rocks), which are often a trademark feature of many of my tables and pieces.

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I love old wood and find it fascinating, much to many of my friends' amusement. If it is wood and they are throwing it away, they know to call me first. Actually that applies to just about everything, as I can always see a new piece that can be made out of someone's junk.

Almost all items during that period were experimental gifts for friends or something eye-catching to help a friend's new business venture. Everyone suggested I had a skill I shouldn't waste and that they loved my work, thus encouraging me to turn this into a commercial venture. Here I am a few years down the line from officially turning a hobby into a business and you are reading my story. Thank you for your interest (curiosity?)

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