ALAN HUSSEY has been designing and making furniture for over forty years since the Arts and Crafts took priority over the football and cricket at which he had excelled at school level. After a foundation year at Watford School of Art, he studied at Loughborough College of Art and Design 1971-74 and graduated with a B.A.(hons) in Furniture Design.

He was inspired then by the Arts and Crafts movement, the Shakers and Charles Rennie Mackintosh and these influences can still be seen in his work. On the strength of his college work he gained a Craft Council setting-up grant and established his first workshop in Walberswick, Suffolk, where co-incidentally Mackintosh once lived.

In 1978 he met Zen master John Garrie Roshi and studied with him until his death in 1998. A love of Japanese form became a strong influence in his work particularly after re-discovering the designer/maker George Nakashima.

He has lived and worked in Dorset since 1985 with clothes designer Corrie van Rijn. In the early nineties he worked almost exclusively for several years on commissions for Michael Dobbs the author and political commentator. This work included designing and making the furniture and fittings for Michael’s Notting Hill apartment in a japanese style

His furniture now is contemporary and minimalist, using pale and bleached solid english hardwoods and often in their more decorative forms ie. rippled ash and sycamore and quarter-sawn oak. Textured surfaces, achieved by techniques such as scorching shot-blasting and the bandsaw, are a recurring feature. The furniture is now almost always finished without lacquer, in order that one can see and feel the actual wood and not a synthetic layer that will only deteriorate with time. Maintainence is remarkably simple and over the years the patina that the surface develops looks far superior to the yellow and often scratched lacquer finish. Oil is used occasionally. He weaves the sculptural cane forms himself, a technique he had used in his degree work and has, in recent years, returned to for his seating collection.

His collection can be viewed by appointment at the Askerswell Showroom.

Alan Hussey. Askerswell Workshops, Parsons Lane, Askerswell, Dorset. DT2 9EL

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