Edward Johnson designer-maker
And his talented team
Edward Johnson and his love for furniture
“My love for art and design took off when I was a small boy aged nine. I was extremely lucky to have an inspiring and energetic art teacher, Mr Thomas, who taught me how to see, draw, paint and sculpt in way that channelled my energy and kept me out of trouble – on the whole. It was an experience that shaped my life and for which I’m immensely grateful.
“My school years continued and my time was split between my two passions: the rugby pitch and the design technology department. My love specifically for furniture really began when I studied furniture design and craftsmanship at Buckinghamshire University in what was the heart of the furniture industry in High Wycombe.
“After graduating with first class honours, as a fledgling designer and cabinet maker, I decided to hone my making skills at the bench and spent two valuable years in the industry getting to know my main material before setting up Edward Johnson Furniture in 2009. At first, I rented a bench space in a co-operative workshop in Brighton, but as commissions began to grow it was evident that I needed to expand.
“In 2014 with a near 12-month order book and having been awarded a ‘Be the Business’ matched funding grant, I expanded into my own workshop in Bosham with an apprentice and a talented full-time cabinet maker in tow. Still in the same workshop today, we are very much a team of creatives and makers who together work very hard to deliver for our clients on both product and service.”
“After 12 years at the workbench, my role in the business nowadays is spent designing and project managing, leaving my highly skilled makers to craft and fine-tune each design and bring it to life. Everyone in the team, from our workshop apprentice to our senior makers, plays a vital role in producing some of the finest handcrafted furniture in the country. Excellent craftsmanship is hard to find and I’m lucky to have such a skilled team around me. They are professional and friendly and I’m very proud of the work they achieve.
“Crucially, designing doesn’t stop at the drawing board. As designer-makers, the team and I have a hands-on relationship with our furniture, which allows us to constantly develop the designs as they evolve from drawings into three-dimensional objects. We work together daily to fine-tune the designs. Our collective focus on quality over quantity and our problem-solving acumen is key to our successful collaborations with clients.”
With so much automation and simplification of production these days, it is increasingly challenging to find cabinet makers who have the ability to handmake furniture to our exacting standards. Fortunately, our excellent reputation in the industry helps us recruit enthusiastic apprentices and skilled craftspeople alike. We also invest in local talent and have excellent relations with our local Chichester College. Many of our makers either come straight from Chichester College as an apprentice or work for us once they have gained some industry experience.
Edward’s work and inspiration
Every project has a different source of inspiration because every client and every room are unique. Of course, the constant in the equation is Edward, with his core values and creative ability to balance form and function in whatever style best suits each project. His designs are often characterised by a tactile and fluid form spanning trends and styles in a timeless and elegant manner. As a master craftsman, his ability to understand the structure and capabilities of his materials is fundamental to his established, award-winning style. Craftsmanship is the glue that holds all his designs together.
Edward Johnson maker’s mark
Edward Johnson has a unique maker’s mark that is inlaid discreetly into each piece of his freestanding furniture*. Adding this finishing touch goes hand in hand with our acute attention to detail. Dated and hallmarked by The Goldsmiths’ Company assay office, this solid silver maker’s mark is the elegant finishing touch to each piece. Finely etched with Edward’s fingerprint, it is a poignant legacy to the craftsman’s touch.
*Please note: Pieces under £1000 carry Edward Johnson’s branded marker’s mark.
“Each finished object bears his hallmarked silver fingerprint, testament to obsessive design and quality.”
Jonathan Foyle, writer, historian, presenter and broadcaster.