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John Makepeace

The British furniture designer John Makepeace is the leading exponent of the British Craft Revival. Some time after finishing a cabinet-making apprenticeship to Keith Cooper in 1957, John Makepeace opened a workshop in Farnsborough Barn. In 1972 John Makepeace went to the US, where he wanted to found a crafts school with the furniture designer Wendell Castle in New York but nothing came of the project. Back in Britain, John Makepeace acquired Parnham House in Dorset and founded the Parnham College of Furniture-Making, where craftsmen hone their skills at all aspects of woodworking.
In 1987 John Makepeace founded Hooke Park College, with teaching buildings designed by the architect Frei Otto and the ABK design practice. John Makepeace has not only been enormously influential as a teacher; the hardwood chairs he has designed are works of art in their own right, distinguished by consummate design and craftsmanship. The John Makepeace "Millenium Chair" is made of holly, which is so white and hard that it looks like ivory; the "Knot Chair" is made of elm and bleached oak that is almost white. "Trine", another John Makepeace chair, is made of layered, cut yew and oak, which results in beautiful striations - in this respect it resembles Tapio Wirkkala's leaf-shaped seats. The "Ebony Gothic" chair unabashedly attests to its sources in the Neo-Gothic and Art nouveau styles, which John Makepeace draws on for inspiration.


 
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