About Philip Riggall

 
 1979, aged 4, my attempt at a garden gate!

1979, aged 4, my attempt at a garden gate!

In the beginning

I started my career in woodworking on the Jubilee Sailing Trust's Sail Training Ship 'Tenacious' in 1996, the largest wooden tall ship to be built in the UK in the last century. Built in epoxy/Siberian Larch construction, and traditionally lofted, this was a fascinating project. Desiring to pursue furniture making I left there in 1999 after three full years and went to PJ Cabinets, a small firm in Hedge End, Southampton, where I learnt many aspects of traditional joinery, making staircases, cabinets, a bed, and a 2m circumference hexagonal seat in iroko to wrap around a tree, amongst other things.

 Serving my apprenticeship at the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Serving my apprenticeship at the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

The Journey

After 18 months, and with my second child on the way and the extra costs incurred in that venture (!), I moved to Southampton Yacht Services and spent 2 years in the joinery shop there. This was where I learnt a great deal about the importance of finesse, producing furniture for such prestigious yachts as Shamrock V and Velsheda. The large part of the work I did there was for Oyster yachts, and the ethos at that time of taking time until the work was of excellent quality and detail has served me well.

 Pair of bedside tables in Walnut, bespoke pewter handles cast by my brother Paul.

Pair of bedside tables in Walnut, bespoke pewter handles cast by my brother Paul.

Learnings

I have, since moving back to Cornwall, spent most of that time working at Pendennis and Rustler Yachts, again getting to work on some of the most prestigious yachts in the world (my 'third' J-Class yacht 'Lionheart'), 'Malahne' and 'Steel', amongst others. I also have had a stint at Cockwells in Mylor, where I produced all the furniture for the 'Malahne' 8m launch, as well veneering her hull in Brazilian mahogany - in honesty probably the most technically difficult job I have done, but also the most fun. 

View from the workshop

View from the Workshop

I have had my own workshop in Restronguet for around a year and a half now, and wish to focus on furniture and cabinetmaking. I love simplicity of form, and this is probably why I am attracted to Japanese sashimono furniture. Whilst it can be incredibly simple in design, the skill levels required to produce are of the highest order, and this is where I want to go. My ambition is focused on becoming a master of my craft.