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Alan Peters death

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Jeremy Broun20/10/2009 08:26:04
36 forum posts
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I am sorry if I have overlooked a posting already made but if members are not already aware it is with great regret t announce that Alan Peters died on Sunday 11 October. Here is an obituary on him (there will shortly be fuller obituaries in the Guardian and Times newspapers):



Alan Peters, the celebrated  furniture, maker died on 11th October 2009 at the age of 76. He had been ill for some time. His funeral service will be held on Friday  23rd October at St Michael's Church in Minehead, Somerset at 2pm.

Alan Peters was born in 1933 in Petersfield, Hants, the son of a precision engineer. In 1949 he was apprenticed to Edward Barnsley and became one of the few direct links with the Arts and Crafts Movement, pioneered by William Morris. In 1962 he set up his first workshop in  Hindhead, Surrey  and in 1973 he moved to Kentisbeare in Devon where he worked for the major part of his career until moving to Minehead in Somerset in 2002.

Amongst the many awards he received was an OBE in 1990 for his services to furniture design. He was known worldwide for his simple understated yet clearly distinctive modern furniture designs, but also for his tireless efforts as a teacher, writer and assessor. Those who met him were touched by his straight generosity

and knowledge. His book “Cabinetmaking – the professional approach” has become a timeless classic reference book.


A turning point in his own work was a scholarship to Japan in 1975 where he was influenced by the simple vernacular architecture.

He also said: “If some day someone regards a piece of my furniture as a work of art, that's fine, that's a bonus, but it's not my motive in producing it; that has always been to produce a piece of furniture to which I am happy to put my name.”

But in reality he made an art of his craft and his legacy to woodworkers is underpinned by his integrity as a person and as a craftsman.

He is survived by his wife Laura who supported him throughout his career and his  daughter Christine (42) and his son David (41). He will be truly missed.


1959: Elected to the British Craft Centre

1968: Elected Fellow of Society of Designer Craftsman.

1975: Crafts Council Bursary to visit Japan

1978: Winsor & Newton Craft Award

1979: Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to visit South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong

1988: Centennial Medal of the Society of Designer Craftsmen

1990: O.B.E

2000: Academician of South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts

Edited By Ben Plewes on 21/10/2009 10:01:27

Sparky20/10/2009 18:28:34
7631 forum posts
22 photos
The sad passing of Alan Peters who died this month.

Alan Peters is a designer maker who is one of the very few direct links with the Arts and Crafts Movement, having apprenticed to Edward Barnsley. He set up his own workshop in the Sixties and is well known for his book Cabinetmaking - a professional approach(re-published in 2009) He also revised (for the fourth edition) of Ernest Joyce's The Technique of Furniture Making.
In 1990 he was awarded an OBE for his services to furniture and he currently has a workshop in West Somerset. He was a main exponent of the Seventies British Craft Revival. His work is rooted in tradition and shows a deep understanding and respect for his material wood. In 2009 fellow furniture designer maker Jeremy Broun made a film and wrote a book called "Alan Peters - The Makers' Maker". To a generation of British woodworkers in the seventies and eighties he is considered to be the greatest British furniture designer maker.

Edited By sparky on 20/10/2009 19:39:25

Olly Parry-Jones20/10/2009 20:16:58
2776 forum posts
636 photos
While I don't know what happened to Jeremy's post, I did hear this very sad news a few days ago. It's fair to say that the memory of Alan Peters will live on for future generations. also heard that, despite ill-health, he was still very busy within his workshop. I have only recently finished reading his book (Cabinetmaking - the Professional Approach) and I would now highly recommend it to anyone serious about making furniture. It provides a great read and is so much more than your average how-to-build-furniture title.
Sparky20/10/2009 20:59:16
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Hi Olly
That book sounds like one to pick up.
I'm glad my local library can source books.
Cheers Olly

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