Rustic Ash Chairs

About Rustic Ash Chairs
Mark Griffin
I'm Mark Griffin, known to all as 'Griff', and I live with my wife in Didcot, Oxfordshire; we have two sons and two grandsons. I have held a strong interest in woodworking and woodturning for over 30 years and more recently in the art of making green wood furniture. 
I have always had an interest in the outdoors as a child. I learnt from my Gramp to loop Hazel wands in the hedgerow as I walked, to be cut into walking sticks a few years later. All my grandparents instilled in me a love of the countryside and nature, teaching me the names and uses of hedgerow plants. I have always enjoyed working with unseasoned wood - making items such as small bowls, whistles, spoons etc.
In August 1989, I was introduced to green woodworking at a country fair on Anglesey. I watched an un-named woodworker producing chair and stool parts using an axe, draw knife, spoke shave and lathe. The poor guy answered a barrage of questions from me over the next three hours, until my wife dragged me away. I was hooked. My wife bought Mike Abbott’s first book as a birthday gift and I promised myself that once I could afford it, I would attend one of Mike’s courses – Mike Abbott is one of the country’s leading experts in green wood crafts, with over 30 years chairmaking experience. Family life took over but 20 years later I attended my first chairmaking course with Mike Abbott. The 6 days I spent in Brookhouse Wood changed my life. I knew then that I had to become a chair maker.  I subsequently attended two other chairmaking courses and numerous development weeks; helping Mike set up the workshop, preparing tools, manufacturing shave horses, benches and tool handles ready for the summer’s courses, and finally working as a Course Assistant in 2015.
mark griffin director of rustic ash chairs
After serving for over 32 years in the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service I retired in early 2015. This allowed me to turn my full attention to pursuing my green woodworking passion and I became a member of the Association of Pole Lathe Turners and Green Woodworkers. I began making chairs in my backyard and then acquired a workshop in the beautiful historic village of Harwell in Oxfordshire. Moving to the workshop enabled me to focus on my green wood chairmaking in a tranquil and beautiful rural environment. 

I get great pleasure from making a wide range of chairs - rocking, spindle-back, lath-back, ladder-back and backwards facing 'cock-fighting' chairs - and I hope that passion is reflected in the quality of my finished products. All my chairs are hand-crafted from Ash using traditional woodcraft tools and techniques and as such each chair is unique. I weave a variety of seat patterns using Danish cord, Sisal, paper rush, bark and Kambaa, and chairs are finished with coats of Danish oil or colour-wash and wax.
Griff​​     ​​
Member of the ​​​​​ Heritage Crafts Association​
association of pole-lathe turners and green woodworkers logo
Please take a look through my ​​​ gallery
If you see a chair that you would like to purchase or have a specific bespoke commission request, please contact me for a quotation so that you too can possess something special and unique for your home.
  1. steam bending jigs and foot and mouth sign
  2. pile of logs at the workshop ready for cleaving
  3. green woodworking tools, shaving horse, axe, froe with countryside view
  4. pile of ash wood logs and old red tractor at rustic ash chairs workshop
  5. view of rustic ash chairs workshop in an old open fronted tractor shed
  6. rustic ash chairs workshop with workbench, jigs and green woodworking tools
  7. Rustic Ash Chairs workshop showing tools, woodworking jigs and ash logs