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Meet your maker: Henry

26 August 2022

Meet more of our talented Tom Raffield team…
Henry in the workshop

Introducing Henry, our Workshop Supervisor. From furniture to floor lights, Henry can craft it all! Let’s find out more about how Henry spends his days at the Tom Raffield studio.

TR: What is your job role?

HR: “My role at Tom Raffield is Workshop Supervisor. My job entails managing the crafting schedule, training fellow team members how to make our new products, and, of course, handcrafting a range of wonderful Tom Raffield designs”.

TR: How long have you worked at Tom Raffield?

HR: “I have worked at Tom Raffield for over four years now. I joined the company as an apprentice after discovering a passion for woodwork at school. As an apprentice, I was taught how to make each and every high-quality product from start to finish - my training encompassed product design, steam bending and assembly through to the final finishing touches. After three years I completed my apprenticeship, which coincided with a workshop supervisor job opportunity. With all my passion and experience I thought that this next step would be the perfect challenge for me and applied. As they say, the rest is history!”

apprentices in the workshop
A young Henry learning the classic Tom Raffield bends and twists through his apprenticeship.

TR: What is your average day at Tom Raffield?

HR: “Over a cup of coffee at 7am, I host a small team meeting to go through the crafting schedule for the day outlining who will be steam bending our larger designs as a team, and who will be making our smaller scale designs – such as wall lights. I’ll then set up the steamers and make sure they are ready to use for any upcoming bends. Next, I’ll check on any designs that have been in our drying room from previous days to make sure everything is up to the high standards come to be expected from Tom Raffield designs. Then we get to crafting!”

TR: Why is sustainability important to you?

HR: “If the recent heatwaves have taught us anything, it should be how prevalent global warming is. It’s happening right now all around us. Living more sustainably should be widely encouraged to prevent any more damage to our planet and ensure our surroundings remain beautiful. As a car enthusiast I do all I can do to offset my carbon footprint, making sure I can enjoy my passion but not in a way that will create a negative impact on our planet.”

tom raffield amble hanging seat
Creating a "wow" moment in your home, the Amble Hanging Chair showcases the power of innovative design.

TR: What is the best skill you have learnt from your time at Tom Raffield?

HR: “Having to plan a couple of days ahead to consider the bending, drying and finishing time of each handcrafted design - my time management skills have improved tenfold since joining Tom Raffield.”

TR: What is your favourite product or range?

HR: “The Amble Hanging Seat. It may be one of the most challenging products to craft in the workshop, but, in my opinion, is also the most impressive. Once steam bent, the ash wood holds an impressively striking coiled form. The Amble takes a long time to make; it requires a lot of concentration to produce a perfect bend, but the overall result is a perfectly balanced, beautiful piece of furniture. I could, and hopefully will, make these designs for years to come and always have that “wow” moment when I take a step back.”

henry crafting tom raffield log loop
Henry making sure the Log Loop is perfectly balanced.

TR: What do you like to do after work?

HR: “My evenings are mostly spent socialising with my friends. We will often all hop in my car and head to the beach for a swim and a catch up. There's no better way to spend the Summer Cornish evenings.”

TR: What are your hobbies?

HR: “I always have plenty of hobbies and activities on the go – I rarely sit still! My favourite hobby would have to be meeting fellow car enthusiasts at meet ups. I love seeing the range of mechanics and how they change from vehicle to vehicle over the years. If I am not exploring automobiles I can be found on my scooter. I’ve enjoyed this sport for over ten years now, which has led me to be professionally sponsored.”

henry crafting in tom raffield workshop
The finishing touch. Henry finishes each design to the highest standard.

TR: What is your favourite place in Cornwall?

HR: “It is impossible to decide. Cornwall is my favourite part of Cornwall! There is so much to explore and see in the vast landscapes - I can venture into woodland or go for a sunset sea swim dependent on my mood. That’s the beauty of Cornwall, it offers such a beautiful range of adventures, I can’t pick just one place as a standout.”

TR: What did you want to be when you were younger?

HR: “Originally, I wanted to become a vet, as I love animals and wanted to care for them all. However, once I had my first Design Technology class at secondary school, I fell in love with wood working and crafting pieces with my hands. I like to think secondary school Henry would be very proud of where I am now.”

Posted: 26.08.22

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