Robinson House Studio, Newhaven

After the success of last year’s open weekend, we are delighted to announce a 2023 open weekend on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September.

Open hours – 9.30am – 4.30pm

The entire workshop will be open to visitors, with both floors available to view. From the hi-tech machinery and materials downstairs to the student rooms and teaching areas upstairs.

Schedule of talks summary

  • First up is Derek Jones who will give a french polishing demo
    at 10am on Sat 16th.
  • Theo Cook’s talk at 12 noon on Sat. 16th.
  • Marc’s talk at 2pm on Sat. 16th.
  • And at 1pm on Sun. 17th Sept. Hamish Low will talk about the Jubilee Table for a Nation

Cakes and refreshments available too!

Saturday 16th Sept. | Derek Jones | Theo Cook | Marc Fish

French Polishing with Derek Jones

Derek Jones, editor of Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine (2008 – 2018) has a long career in furniture making and tutoring. His French Polishing talk and demonstration at 10am on Saturday will focus on this special skill and how anyone can learn it!

Derek says of French Polishing…

“Despite the fact that we’ve all heard of the term French Polish and shellac, it’s amazing to think that very few of us actually know what it is and how to do it. It has a reputation for being difficult to master, time consuming and not nearly as robust as some other finishes. Here’s the bottom line. None of the above is true.”
Find out more about Derek here –

Theo Cook, senior tutor at RHS, will talk at 12 noon on Saturday about his career in furniture making and his approach to teaching.

Theo will also have on display some of his world-famous dovetails and will be available after his talk to discuss the furniture design courses we offer at Robinson House Studio.
Find out more about Theo here.

Marc Fish ethereal lounge chairs

Marc Fish will talk at 2pm on Saturday about his recent developments in furniture making and skills learnt along the way.

You will also be able to view and discuss Marc’s current commissions, the courses we offer and how he turned an empty building into a fully equipped workshop.
Read about Marc here.

Sunday 17th Sept. | Hamish Low

Fenland farmers excavating a Bog Oak Tree to enable cultivation
Fenland farmers excavating a Bog Oak Tree to enable cultivation

We are delighted to welcome Hamish Low to our workshop. Hamish is a craftsman and cabinet maker who trained with (and worked for) some of the biggest names in the industry.

For the last 30 years Hamish has been creating his own work and has devoted much of his time to learning about and utilising bog oak.

Hamish will be talking about 5,000 year old Fenland Black Oak Project and the production of the 13 metre long Jubilee Table for a Nation that now resides at Rochester Cathedral.

The Jubilee Table in Rochester Cathedral
Jubilee Table for a Nation

Hamish’s passion for bog oak and it’s journey from The Fens to Cathedral is fascinating and this talk at 1pm on Sunday is not to be missed!
Read more here –

Gallery of workshops and some recent students’ work:

Open days – September 16th & 17th 2023