Contemporary carved from tradition
Touchwood Crafts was created by designer and maker Charles Ash. Known for his unique, stylish furniture pieces, Charles selects only the most elegant lines from the trees he collects to bring a flow to his work which can only be found in nature. This symbiotic relationship he has with nature and the rolling Oxfordshire landscape in which he works is an ever present inspiration.
It was after a successful career as a theatre set builder and enthused by his time working at the historical Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, that a love of hand tools and historical methods made Charles want to follow another path. This combined with a desire to make objects for people to cherish and use in their homes, led Charles to a simpler, traditional and naturally more eco-friendly approach to furniture construction. He immediately set about learning the pre-industrial methods of not only the making of furniture by hand, which married seamlessly with his ideals of a greener way, but also the skills in selecting his timber from traditional native coppiced woodland.
He travelled, meeting and working with some of the country’s leading greenwood workers, furniture makers and coppice workers as well as learning from wood workers around the world. Where Charles’ practical passion lies in the past, his design ideas and concepts are strictly contemporary and sit elegantly in the modern home. It’s this amalgamation of old and new that has enabled Charles to realise his dream of producing stylish, sculptural and contemporary furniture that, in the very manner in which it is produced, is green and sustainable.
Charles now has pieces in homes and commercial use around the world. He is also using his expertise and passion to educate, through his workshops, demonstrations and lectures, that a simpler, healthier way doesn’t have to compromise design.