Concepts: I think I probably have to choose 'functionality' as my main concept as I am, first and foremost, a furniture designer/maker. I do also call myself an artist-craftsman and, while I'm only too happy to add decoration to my furniture, there comes a point where excessive decoration overshadows the basic design. That's why I admire the work of the Shakers- the complete lack of decoration forces the maker to use only proportion and balance as embellishment. Other influences that I will admit to include Mackintosh and the Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Weiner Werkstatte and Bauhaus Movements. Having said all that, I did live in Barcelona for 10 years and some of the Spanish love of colour seems to have rubbed off on me. I do, however, aim to limit the use of colour so that it enhances rather than obscures the simple lines I tend to prefer. Influences: nature, architecture, art deco, Spain Career path: On finishing my 2-year course at Suffolk College, I originally intended to get a job with a local maker to continue the learning process. The end-of-course show, however, brought me my first three clients so I decided to take the plunge and set up on my own. Fifteen years later, I'm now in a bigger workshop in the middle of the sticks on the Suffolk/Essex border, making everything from one-off pieces of furniture in solid local timbers to spiral staircases in birch ply, from polypropylene curvy shower cubicles to massive benches for school projects. To be honest, I don't really mind what I make.... as long as I can put my own stamp on it, both artistically and literally.