Alistair Phillips is a self-taught wood craftsman, living and working in the Chiltern Hills in South Oxfordshire. His specialities are making coracles, and producing wooden bowls and plates for table-ware.
Alistair was introduced to traditional crafts at an early age, learning from his parents (a naturalist and a weaver) and the numerous volunteers who visited and worked at the large nature reserve in the Chiltern Hills which was his first home. Building chairs, roundhouses and pole-lathes were his earliest forays into woodcrafts, whilst coracle making and bowl turning followed after University.
His outdoor upbringing has imbued him with a love of wood and he is fascinated by its versatility, durability, strength and character. This passion is borne out in his determination to share the wonder of wood with the widest possible audience, through his craft courses and supply of wooden tableware that is designed for everyday use.
All his pieces are made using native hardwoods, many of which have been traditionally used for tableware since the 12th century. With a wealth of sawmills surviving in the Chilterns there is never a need to travel very far in search of raw materials, meaning all of his timber is sourced within 45 miles of his workshop.
When not cheerfully buried up to his knees in wood shavings Alistair works part time for Oxford Wood Recycling, a social firm dedicated to rescuing usable timber from landfill and making it available for re-use. Occasionally timber that they collect, such as some 200 year old elm beams, makes its way into his workshop for a new lease of life.