Talking with Cabinet Maker Tom Zinovieff


Cabinet Maker Tom Zinovieff trained in furniture design and making at Lyme Regis Boatbuilding Academy, he favours British woods and sources locally as much as possible.  He shares some of his favourites with us. 

Where did you study and which was your favourite class?

Sidcot School, a Quaker school under the Mendips in Somerset. In my first year of A levels the school built a recording studio in an old classroom, they ran an A level in Music Production and recording. It was great.

Tell us a little about your journey to becoming a cabinet maker? 

I mucked about with a lot of jobs after an Art Foundation; TV, cooking, music video production and gardening, then I landed on woodworking and it really clicked, this was it. I was able to take on my Dad’s old workshop, dust off the machines and get them working again.

What do you enjoy most about working with wood and creating furniture?

It’s hands on, you’re on your feet all day, and there’s lots of problem solving. Wood is a really special material, each tree, plank, component is unique.

What was the first piece you made?

I made myself a butchers block, I use it everyday.

What are you currently working on? 

I’m making a Japanese platform bed out of oak.

Favourite piece you have made so far?

Some clothes shelves that were made in ash. Simple, pure and elegant.

Favourite wood to work with?

I use a lot of ash and oak, they grow prominently in England so I can source it locally.

Do you have a favourite cabinet maker?

I love Shaker furniture, their communities were largely self sufficient. They weren’t making furniture to sell, they made it for themselves. It’s simple, utilitarian and honest.

What are you growing? 

I’m focusing on my herb garden these days; three varieties of sage, thyme and rosemary.

What are you reading? 

A Seabirds Cry by Adam Nicolson. He writes how modern technology allows close monitoring of the behaviour of seabirds, what they’ve found is fascinating.

What are you watching?

Stranger Things, obviously. It’s got a great theme tune.

What are you listening to?

Ryan Adams, always.

What are you drinking?

Ribena. Hot Ribena in the winter.

What are you eating?

I’m working my way through a new Japanese cook book at the moment.

Cat or dog?

Dog, I’ve got a whippet.

Town or countryside?  


Online or offline?

Offline. But superfast mega fibre optic when I need it.

Favourite place in the the UK?

West coast of Scotland.

Favourite place in the world?

Isle of Raasay, on the west coast of Scotland.

Clothes Shelves, ash
Refectory Table, brown oak
Bike Rack, oak & walnut
Driftwood Bench
Chopping Board
Oak Bench on the Isle of Raasay

Tom Zinovieff

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