Me & My Job - Simon Burvill, co-founder, Gaze Burvill

Simon Burvill, co-founder, Gaze Burvill - image: Gaze Burvill
Simon Burvill, co-founder, Gaze Burvill - image: Gaze Burvill

How did you get started in the industry? I studied forestry and manufacturing at Hooke Park College in Dorset. I then joined forces with designer Christian Gaze and together we launched our first piece, the Court Seat.

What advice would you give to others starting out? There are fantastic apprenticeships available where you spend part of your week being taught skills and the rest in a proper work placement. At Gaze Burvill we usually take one apprentice each year, many of whom have stayed on with us as fully trained master craftsmen.

What does your typical day involve? Up early to get the emails out of the way, then I talk to the production team to check that all is running smoothly in the workshop. There might be meetings to plan our next open day or a site visit where a new garden is being planned. Last thing is usually talking to our agent in the USA.

What is the best aspect of your job? When we hold open days I take groups round our new workshop, show them how steam bending works and talk about craftsmanship and the selection of oak. It’s a bit of chance for me to show off, and I thoroughly enjoy it.

And the worst? When the internet goes down.

What has been your biggest achievement at work? Our fabulous new workshop is fuelled by a biomass boiler, has a completely flat floor, state-of-the-art machines, excellent light and a smart canteen. Getting it planned, built and moved into was a very big moment for me.

How do you wind down after a hard day at work? Walk our border terrier, Ginny, and chill with my family.

What does the future hold? I would love to have more time to devote to a charity. I am a trustee of Woodland Heritage. We promote responsible and expert forestry to provide high-quality temperate hardwoods for use in industry.

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