Tom Addison: From Running To Bespoke Furniture Making


How a successful running career inspired Yorkshire-based Tom Addision to launch his own bespoke furniture making company

A former fell running champion has been inspired by the hills surrounding his Yorkshire Dales National Park home to start his new bespoke furniture making business. Talented Tom Addison is creating pieces of work based on places and hills around his home close to Askrigg, near Hawes in Wensleydale.

“I am a full-time designer and maker of fine, handmade, contemporary furniture,” he explains. “From my workshop in Wensleydale in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park I strive to produce unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of extreme high quality for sale and commission. As a craftsman I work closely with clients to create exceptional stand alone or fitted furniture using the best possible materials that is personalised to them in design and functionality.

The Sedbergh Coffee Table
The Sedbergh Coffee Table

“I try to source all my materials as locally as possible. I use a local timber supplier within the National Park near Settle. They are less than an hour away from my workshop, which in a rural location is good! When trying to use the very best materials sometimes some materials come from further away, but it is important to me that these materials are all sustainably sourced from trusted suppliers.”

One item of furniture – a console hall table – he has just completed captures the profile of the iconic hill Addlebrough which he can see across the fields from his living room window. He has also produced the stylish Ellerkin lamp table and the functional Sedbergh coffee table.

Of the Addlebrough table he says: ”This table evokes the fell’s recognisable landscape profile with its sweeping, curved tapered legs with tapered chamfers on each edge.”

On the Ribblesdale Desk, he says: “The desk was designed and hand crafted for a Central London apartment, which has now since moved with the client to rural Sussex. Made from prime grade quarter sawn oak and sycamore this beautiful, contemporary desk is very functional yet striking as a standalone piece. With two piston fit drawers either side of centre and two under drawer storage compartments provide plenty of space for office and study equipment. Named after Ribblesdale, the desk holds features reflective of this iconic landscape. The dovetails run the full length of the top edges mirroring the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. The rippled grain of the sycamore and oak runs through the piece shimmering like the flowing River Ribble. The outline shape created by the delicate under storage units and the angle of the frame of the lower desk resemble that of the steeped profile of Pen-y-Ghent. The customer was delighted when they saw it as it helped remind them of their childhood growing up in the Yorkshire Dales.”

The Ribblesdale Desk
Tom with The Ribblesdale Desk

Tom trained for six years at the prestigious Peter Hall & Sons workshop in the Lake District village of Staveley and learnt traditional furniture making techniques as well as gaining valuable knowledge about design and construction. More recently he has been working for Castle Timber Buildings in joinery and construction.

”With the experience gained, I decided to set up my own furniture making workshop and studio at my home,” says the 31-year-old father-of-one who was crowned English fell running champion in 2014. ”I now strive to design and make fresh, inspiring and beautiful pieces of furniture with quality and craftsmanship at the heart.’

”I fell in love with hills and mountains when I was running competitively and when I moved to Wensleydale after getting married in July 2018 I was struck by the beauty of the hills that surround my home and wanted to capture some of their character in the furniture that I have started making.

Getting Inspiration With Spot Addlebrough In Background
Getting inspiration with Spot with Addlebrough in background

”I am now lucky to live and work in the Dales and I take great pleasure in getting out into the hills with my family and dog, whether it’s running or walking and I find the scenery and peace and quiet very inspiring for my furniture designing,” says Tom. ”My running has allowed me to travel to some of the most beautiful parts of the world experiencing different cultures and new landscapes, which has really shaped and influenced my life.

“I find inspiration in so many things,” he adds. “I take great inspiration from the landscape and places I pass through. I get such a great feeling when I’m amongst the stunning scenery and I just want to try and put that feeling into my pieces by trying to capture some of those key features I find in the natural and sometimes man-made places. When you are surrounded by beauty all the time it’s hard to not want to try to create something that’s as equally beautiful. I also take great inspiration from past and present designer makers. There are so many great designer makers out there I find it pushes me all the time to strive to try and design and make each piece better than the last one.”

Tom Addison can be contacted at [email protected] or visiting tafinefurniture.co.uk, or by calling 07585 952951

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