Barry mays -

Exclusive hand-made furniture, for people who want something a little different.


Born in London, Barry Mays is a self-taught green wood craftsman, designer and furniture maker, and the author of a book on green woodworking. He occasionally teaches to small groups, or on a one-to-one basis and sometimes helps out conscientious art & design students with work experience.

He is a full member of the Devon Guild of Craftsman. His work has previously sold in art galleries, featured in prestigious magazines, and a couple of national newspapers. He now prefers to make what he likes, when he likes and lives and works in the beautiful Tamar Valley in Cornwall, reassured and thankful that some clients are happily prepared to wait, sometimes up to 18 months, for their commissioned work to be made for them. Some things just can't be hurried.

Materials & Method

Timber for chair, stool and table frames is sourced from local woodlands. Solid tops for seating and tables are carefully selected for unusual and beautiful grain figuration. Bur oak, olive ash, brown ripple oak, elm and yew are often used, with featuring in walnut or bog oak, and occasional with cold cast copper. Some chairs and stools are woven with strips of the inner bark (bast) of the wych elm tree, creating a beautiful natural seat.

Everything is hand- made, using traditional green woodworking methodologies to produce furniture made to last for generations.

These pieces are made in the old way, by hand and finished to a high standard. The whole process takes time, concentration, empathy with the materials and a degree of skill and creativity.

A reminder, in a fast modern world, of how things used to be made.

Combining sculptural aesthetic with the option of functionality.

Dining chair from a commissioned set of 8. Cornish ash frame with Cornish olive ash back and crest rails, secured with oak dowels. Woven seat herringbone pattern, in wych elm bast from Herefordshire. Finished in Danish oil.

Barry Mays © 2005     Cotehele Mill - 01579 350248