I began my career as a trainee furniture maker in my native Great Britain in 1973 and I've worked continuously in the profession ever since. I studied and qualified as a furniture designer and maker at Shrewsbury Technical College in 1983.
During my time in the industry I have been a furniture practitioner in a wide variety of roles and at many levels. My employment early in my career included periods as a bench joiner, cabinetmaker and furniture maker for a variety of mainly small businesses. Those early positions were followed by workshop supervisory and management roles along with increasing responsibility for designing, initiating, and managing the manufacture of furniture and wooden artefacts for my employers; during this period I was, for example, employed as a furniture technician in what was then the Furniture Department at Edinburgh College of Art, and as the workshop manager at the Children's Museum of Houston. During the middle of the 1980s I started taking on private furniture design and making commissions in addition to my full-time employment. I opened the full-time business Richard Jones Furniture approximately eighteen months after I moved to Houston, Texas in 1993.
In 2003 I returned to Great Britain to take up an offer to teach furniture design and making at Rycotewood College, Oxford. In 2005 I moved to Leeds College of Art and Design to become Course Leader of the Foundation Degree/BA (Hons) in Furniture Making.
Exhibitions of work
My work has appeared in galleries, exhibitions, expositions and shows since the early 1980s. Selected highlights include participating in the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show, 1999; The Houston Home and Interiors Show, 2000; invitational mixed media show at the Brazosport Art League, Lake Jackson, Texas, 1998; invited participant in Furniture expositions between 1999 and 2002 at Gremillion & Co gallery, Houston, and taking part in the collaborative multi media events 'Fire' at the KGA Compound, Houston, during 2001 and 2002 hosted by well known interior designer Kelly Gale Amen.
I enjoy writing and my articles and contributions on furniture making and woodworking topics are published in the USA and the UK. Magazines that have published my work include Fine Woodworking, Woodwork, Woodshop News, and Woodworker's Journal in the USA; and in the UK, Furniture & Cabinetmaking and The Woodworker.
Related to the articles I create when the mood and inspiration take hold of me is an ongoing major writing exercise; this is an illustrated academic manuscript on timber technology, and written with the needs of both professional and amateur furniture practitioners and other woodworkers very much to the fore. Completion of this text is expected in 2009, after which I hope a publisher that has shown great interest in my project decides to publish it in book form.
2008, November. Creative Networks, Leeds College of Art and Design.
2008. Northern Contemporary Furniture Makers autumn group exhibition, plus guest artists, October- November. Tennants Auction Centre, Leyburn, North Yorkshire.
2008. Northern Contemporary Furniture Makers summer group exhibition, June-September. Arcaz, Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.
2007. Northern Contemporary Furniture Makers group Exhibition, August- September. Tennants Auction Centre, Leyburn, North Yorkshire.
2001-2002. Fire’. Mixed Media Events hosted by Kelly Gale Amen at the KGA Compound, Houston, Texas.
2001- 2003. Invitational Exhibitions of Texas based designers, makers and artists. Gallery 3, Houston, Texas.
2000. The Hand That Forms. Gremillion & Co., Houston, Texas.
1999. Houston Furniture and Design Expo, Houston, Texas.
1999. Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show.
1998. Gensler Architects, Houston, Texas. Invitational exhibition.
1998. Expressions in Three Media. Brazosport Art League, Texas. Invitational Exhibition.
1995-’98. The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth. Travelling exhibition created by The Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston, Texas.
1982. Today’s Furniture. Juried exhibition, Rowley House Museum, Shrewsbury.
1982. The Graduates of ‘83. The Shirehall, Shrewsbury.
I undertake a number of furniture design and making commissions and create original speculative furniture for sale at events, exhibitions and galleries. My expertise is also called upon from time to time to act as a consultant on furniture issues for private and business clients. Additional roles I am sometimes asked to take on are those of juror in furniture competitions and to sit on exhibition selection panels.