Se­bas­tian Cox

Founder, Se­bas­tian Cox Ltd (020–8316 5679;­bas­tian­

Country Life Every Week - - Another Country -


Mak­ing by hand is a great way to learn the lim­its of your ma­te­rial. You then de­velop a keen un­der­stand­ing of, and con­nec­tion with, wood by work­ing it with your hands. The tools you use be­come an ex­ten­sion of your hand and, as much as I feel this way about a plane or chisel, I think you can ap­ply this same ap­proach to elec­tron­i­cally pow­ered tools, too.

Craft ver­sus tech­nol­ogy

In my work­shop, tra­di­tional tech­niques are com­ple­mented by dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. Dig­i­tal means of man­u­fac­ture, used on very sim­ple as­pects of mak­ing, can save you time, al­low­ing you to use tra­di­tional tech­niques and hand tools in other ar­eas to much greater ef­fect. We also use dig­i­tal means to help us to re­duce our waste. Our Of­f­cut col­lec­tion is in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar and makes use of the pieces of tim­ber that aren’t big enough to be used in fur­ni­ture. We couldn’t make them with­out dig­i­tal tools and that ma­te­rial would be wasted.

CNC ma­chines

For us, CNC ma­chines cre­ate the op­por­tu­nity of time. We al­ways find our­selves wish­ing for more time and the CNC gives us that just when we need it. Some­times, you spend more time mak­ing a jig than you do mak­ing the ac­tual piece of fur­ni­ture. It also gives us an in­cred­i­ble level of accuracy.


CAD al­lows you to en­vis­age com­pletely how a piece of fur­ni­ture will be con­structed prior to com­mit­ting it to ma­te­ri­als. Un­like a sketch, you can ro­tate the ob­ject, view it from all an­gles and scru­ti­nise each com­po­nent with a great

de­gree of accuracy.


Draw­ing is def­i­nitely still an im­por­tant part of the de­sign process. In meet­ings with clients, where mak­ing ter­mi­nol­ogy doesn’t trans­late, pen and pa­per be­come a cru­cial com­mon lan­guage.

Left: Hewn Tres­tle, £146

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