Chris Amey

Chris Amey

Team Leader

Joined Carpenter Oak: 2012

Interview with Chris Amey

What is your favourite timber frame joint?
A sliding tapered dovetail.

What music are you currently listening to in the workshop?
I actually listen to a lot of Radio 3 with my radio ear defenders. I have to on my own because hardly anyone else likes it. I’m a big fan of Bach, probably because I play some piano a bit and love a string quartet, so some Haydn or Mozart rocks!

What is the best project you have worked on and why?
I have worked on some really beautiful frames. In particular, the Church House Inn in Rattery for having two arch brace trusses. Also, Levens Hall in the Lake District for its angular and original design and Bryan for its beautiful trusses across an old barn from the Port Elliot estate in Cornwall

When not in the yard, what do you enjoy doing?
I play Badminton each week followed by beers with some friends. Otherwise I occasionally get to sail a friend’s boat and generally get to hang out on our gorgeous Devon beaches

What is the best comedy film ever made?
How can I pick between The Big Labowski and Withnail and I?

I started doing carpentry when I lived in London having previously studied Sonic Arts at university. Enrolling on an NVQ course at Hackney College, I fell in love with it the moment I started the course and it took me to quite a few different places. My first proper job was oak framing in Kent with a bit of restoration work alongside new-build, then I got a job on the Cutty Sark in London for two years during the recent conservation project (before and after the fire). After that I went self employed and mostly worked in Chamonix doing renovations for a family who run a chalet business. Being kinda homeless at the time, me and my then partner decided to head for the South Hams in Devon to run a B&B by the sea and make sculptures and furniture (she ran the B&B while I made the sculptures). This is when I approached Stuart for a job at Carpenter Oak looking for a more reliable income. Eventually he agreed and I started work having to re-learn quite a bit. Six years on, I really love my job, especially since becoming a Team Leader. It’s hugely enjoyable and rewarding. It’s so great to be doing a craft all-day, everyday and although I’m not the designing stuff I am making all day whilst having a fair bit of input into that process along the way.

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