Gimson as a Maker

Gimson's insistence on the use of good quality materials selected with care combined with high standards of workmanship set a standard for Arts and Crafts furniture and indeed for craft furniture up to the present day. He personally tried his hand at many different crafts and sought to employ the most committed makers from a range of disciplines to execute his designs.

Gimson set up a workshop making furniture in 1900, initially in partnership with Ernest Barnsley. They employed Peter van der Waals as foreman based in temporary premises in Cirencester.

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Gimson went into partnership with, and employed a wide range of craftsmen. From trainees to very experienced blacksmiths, cabinet makers and woodworkers.

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As a young architect in Sedding’s office and as an active member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Gimson was encouraged to get hands-on experience of different building crafts.

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Sometime in 1890 Gimson spent a few weeks with Philip Clissett, a chairmaker in the village of Bosbury, Herefordshire.

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Furniture was mainly produced to commission. Gimson never advertised his work or produced a leaflet or a catalogue.

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Like William Morris Gimson believed in the value of handwork; for society as a whole, for the consumer but above all for the maker.

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