Skip to main content

Robert Ingham



1958-60 Loughborough Training College. Teaching Certificate. Distinction in Crafts & Drama.

1960-61 Diploma of Loughborough College. (DLC) Distinction in Sliversmithing.

1963 City & Guilds of London Institute. Furniture.

1964 City & Guilds of London Institute. Advanced Furniture.

1964 Leeds College of Art. National Diploma of Design. (NDD) Furniture - Special Level.

1966 Leeds University. Diploma of Secondary Education, (Dip. Ed.) Professional Experience.

1961-71 Craft Teacher with Leeds Education Committee.

1966-76 Part-time Lecturer, Leeds College of Art.

1971-76 Own furniture-making business, Thirsk, Yorkshire. In partnership with his brother George Ingham.

1976-97 Principal of the School for Craftsmen in Wood, Parnham College.

1997 Running own workshop in North Wales

2000 Joined research programme, in an advisory capacity, of Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College.

2006 Joined staff of the Joseph Walsh Studio, Kinsale, Ireland as a consultant on a part-time basis.


Member of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.

Judging shows and competitions: 'Wood for the Tree' for the lrish Crafts Council, 'Celebrating Boxes' at Tullie House, Carlisle, in collaboration with the Crafts Council.

Teaches regular Summer School in UK and USA

Ten pieces of furniture have been awarded Guild Mark by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. Regular contributor of articles to "Furniture and Cabinetmaking" and judging their competition at the Axminster Show.

Work in private collections in the USA and Britain, including:

Sir Michael Colman
The Viscount Linley
Christopher Claxton Stevens
Mick Jagger
Mr and Mrs Iain Anderson
Mr Michael Appleby

Work featured in several books on modern furniture, including extensive feature in Betty Norbury's new book "Furniture for the 21st Century"


British Decorative Art Christies London, 1992 & 1993

Decorative Art Today, Bonhams, London 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 & 1998

Society of Designer Craftsmen, Rufford 1997

High Flyers - 20 year of Parnham. London 1997

A Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Cheltenham 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008

British Work House, DaIlas 1997

Pritam and Eames, New York. 1997

Artizana, Prestbury, 1998 & 1999

Artifex, SuttonColdfield 1998, 1999 & 2004

Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, 1999 & 2000

Society of Designer Craftsmen, Mall Gallery 1998, 1999 & 2000

Exhibition to launch Book "Furniture for the 21st Century", Banqueting House, Whitehall, 1999

Art in Action 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008

Celebrating Boxes 2001 & 2002

Onetree 2001 & 2002

Furniture Society, Wisconsin USA 2002

Craft in Focus 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008

‘Antiques for the Future’, Norman Adams Gallery, London 2006, 2007 & 2008

Design Week, Tatton Park 2006 & 2007

Bodelwyddan Castle Gallery 2008

Helfa Gelf ‘Art Trail’ Open Weekends 2008

Robert Ingham was born in India, his father being an officer in the colonial police, and was educated there till the age of eleven. At partition with Pakistan the family opted to return to England - a decision largely prompted by concern for the children’s educational future - to live in Yorkshire, his father’s family home.

Robert trained at Loughborough College, and at Leeds College of Art, followed by a degree at Leeds University. After several years teaching he set up a workshop designing and making furniture, in partnership with his younger brother George, who had arrived at this point through the more design orientated route of the Royal College of Art.

Together they ran a highly successful business in Thirsk, making one-off pieces and small batches.

Eventually they opted for independent careers, George to run his own workshop in Hemel Hempstead for a short time before moving to Australia to set up the furniture school at Canberra School of Art; and Robert, via a short spell in interior design and retailing, to Dorset to assist John Makepeace in setting up the school at Parnham, and thereafter to run it as Principal. George died of cancer in 2003 and Robert has dedicated his book ‘Cutting-edge Cabinetmaking’ to him, and a percentage of the sales go to a cancer charity in George’s memory.

During Robert’s tenure the school had gone from strength to strength, becoming internationally known, and producing a string of successful graduates, who are now the backbone of the British designer-maker elite.

In conjunction with his teaching, Robert has his own business, Robert Ingham Designs, and wearing this hat he makes one-off pieces to commission and for exhibition both in this country and abroad. Several of his pieces have been awarded Guild Marks.

He has exhibited in the States at Pritam and Eames Gallery, New York, and has important pieces in private collections in this country and America. He showed regularly at Decorative Arts Today at Bonhams, A Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Cheltenham, and at the Society of Designer Craftsmen. He has also taught Summer Schools, both in this country and at Anderson Ranch Arts Centre in Colorado, and the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine.

He was Invited to join the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, been granted the Freedom of the City of London, and been made a Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.

In 1997, after twenty successful and full years at Parnham, he gave up teaching in order to concentrate fully on his own work - setting up a workshop in North Wales, making pieces to commission, and small batches of very collectable boxes. The new workshop has been featured in several national magazines.

Between 2000 & 2005 he was on the staff of Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College on a research and advisory basis.

Consultant to the ‘Joseph Walsh Furniture Studio’ in Kinsdale, Ireland


Robert Ingham Designs
Bwlch Isa Cwm
LL18 5SF
01745 571101


User login