Adrian Mitchell

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Adrian Mitchell works closely with a variety of different woods to make beautiful, one-off, turned wooden vessels.

He started his career in the mid-1970s working in two small furniture workshops in Worcestershire. In the early 1980s he graduated in furniture design from Ravensbourne College, London, and went on to spend many years working on commercial design projects in London, Bristol, Birmingham and Sydney. He has always loved working with wood and became frustrated by using it merely as a designer’s finish, subject to the vagaries of fashion.

Adrian has recently moved to Falmouth from southern Spain, where he worked for several years in oak, olive and almond. The climate there was dry and the trees were small and slow growing. Conditions in Cornwall are very different and he is enjoying exploring the new opportunities this presents.



I work in green, or wet, wood and allow it to dry in controlled conditions so natural distortions take place, sometimes over several months. I often choose material that will give interesting and unpredictable results, for instance wood from the fork of a tree, or a junction between trunk and branch.

Working intimately with each piece of wood on the lathe, I endeavour to create satisfying forms that establish a point from which the material can express itself through the drying process. When it is dry the finished work holds a story – revealing characteristics of the species, the age of the tree, which part it came from, and where and how it grew. Stresses in the wood determine how it shifts, folds or splits as the moisture content drops. This is what fascinates me.


New collection featuring in: ADORN: Contemporary Jewellery and Objects, 7 November – 3 December 2015These new works, mainly crafted from Holm oak, have all been turned from green wood and allowed to dry slowly, change shape and in some cases crack to reveal interesting details.

These organic changes in material are very much part of the work, I see it as a mark of this place where we live and of the forces of the natural world. All the work is finished in oil and beeswax and the black pieces have ebonised using a natural process with a ferrous solution of wire wool dissolved in vinegar which reacts with the tannin in the oak.