An apprentice served, qualified cabinet maker, with over 35 years experience
After finishing a five-year apprenticeship, Xavier worked in London for a number of years for the highly respected Cathedral Furniture company. While there he created reception desks for the head office of American Express (very modern for their time), boardroom furniture for the South African Goldsmiths company and a set of dining chairs for the Sultan of Brunei - a great experience that has stayed with him all to this day. Xavier then spent a further two years working in Canada. This was followed by a move to the West Country where more experience was gained at Mount Edgecombe country house in Plymouth and Barnes Joinery in Ashburton, making bespoke country kitchens.
In 1989 Xavier set up his own business, Oak Fields Cabinet Makers, which evolved into selling high end retail furniture from his Honiton showroom. Despite this valuable experience and a well-earned reputation, the demand for bespoke furniture was always the strong point of the business and in 2011 Xavier decided that rather than sell other people's furniture he would establish his own range. As a result, his smaller Ofwell showroom was restocked with Xavier's bespoke country furniture and high quality period reproductions, made in the neighbouring workshop.
Four years ago Xavier began teaching and setting up workshops, as a way of passing on some of his experience and knowledge.
His students have the opportunity to see the day to day operations of a cabinet making and restoration business.
The most popular courses are the restoration days, when students from far and wide bring in furniture from their homes, or from recycling centres, to practise on.
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