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Archive for the ‘Staff’ Category

Exciting opportunity for a design assistant at Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Simon Thomas Pirie is an award-wining bespoke furniture design and making practice. Our small but growing dedicated team of highly skilled cabinet makers make furniture, kitchens and interiors, outdoor furniture and public seating projects from our workshops near Bere Regis, Dorset. We work for private clients, interior designers, architects, developers and institutional clients.

A unique opportunity has arisen to work in the design office of this small but expanding company as the design assistant to Simon Pirie in a role that encompasses a broad range of exciting duties.

Hopefully it goes without saying that the candidate needs to have a strong interest in furniture and interior design. Ideally they would have some experience of making in a workshop environment but, if not, then be interested in how things are made and go together. There may be opportunities to help out and develop practical skills in the workshop; as part of a small dynamic team we expect any prospective candidate to be flexible and willing to help out.

There would be plenty of CAD work involved preparing client presentation drawings and working drawings for the workshop team. We work with Vectorworks on Mac so experience with that would be helpful though not essential.

We would also like the candidate to have good visualisation and rendering skills, so knowledge of Google Sketch Up Pro, the V-Ray render suite and photoshop would be desirable.

The nature of the work, like the projects we undertake is very varied. There will be days out on site, client visits and other occasions where we want help in and around the workshop. However the primary focus will be as Simon’s design assistant in the office.

Would suit graduate or student work placement but we will consider applications from anyone with the right skills and attitude.

Potential start date from September 2017. Initially for one year with the potential to become a permanent post.

Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd is located in Briantspuddle, 12 miles west of Poole and 12 miles east of Dorchester. There is no reliable public transport so having your own transport is essential.

Salary by negotiation.

We are always keen to hear from enthusiastic makers and there may be opportunities to join our workshop in the near future. If you think you would like to work for us, please send us your C.V.

To find out more about opportunities at Simon Thomas Pirie email or call Simon.

Studio Image by Matt Austin

New Maker; Bradley

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

BradleyWe are pleased to introduce to the newest member of our team, Bradley Rowland. Brad served his apprenticeship at another furniture making company in North Dorset but, as the boyfriend of our landlord’s daughter, he was keen to find work closer to home – well you can’t get much closer than across the farmyard!!

In fact there is very little reason for Brad to ever leave the farm, with girlfriend, job, home and hobby in one neat package! Brad is a keen motocross biker and spends much of his spare time at Rogers Hill Raceway just up the hill from the workshop. We are always relieved to see Brad in one piece on Monday morning as he is developing into a talented maker and has been a welcome addition to our team.

We are very proud of our support of emerging furniture making talent, some of whom we have introduced to you before. Click here to read about ‘New’ Mike and Tom…

Different Roads; Same Destination…

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Mike CD Tom Cornick
We have been privileged to welcome two new members to the team at Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd over the last year. Tom Cornick (left) and Mike Clifton-Dey are both keen on their cars but just as they have chosen very different sets of wheels for their daily commute, they have taken different routes to get here.

Tom came to us for a short period of work experience while studying for an A level in Design. He and Simon hit it off immediately and once Tom returned to school, he stayed in touch regularly to pick Simon’s brains for advice on the completion of his final project; not surprisingly a cabinet. Simon was impressed with Tom’s dedication, tenacity and not insubstantial talent and suggested that he might consider an apprenticeship here at Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd.

Tom C Final Cabinet Photo 1Corn Cab
The cabinet Tom designed and made for his A Level (left) next to the piece that inspired it designed by Simon

For Tom, meeting Simon and seeing the workshop opened his eyes to the possibility of following in his both his grandfathers’ footsteps; one having been a joiner and the other a carpenter. The opportunity to complete an apprenticeship working with our talented team of designers and makers felt like a natural progression and he embraced it enthusiastically. Tom and workshop manager, John, worked together with training provider, DIDAC to formulate an apprenticeship plan and consequently Tom has been working with us since September. His DIDAC tutor comes into the workshop for a day every 2 to 4 weeks to work on specific making skills and the supporting written assessments and it has been a joy to watch Tom applying the skills he has learnt to the tasks he is set in our now bustling workshop.

‘New’ Mike (so called because of Mike Smith, our longest serving employee and senior maker) has been known to us for some time as the son of our upholsterer Robin Clifton-Dey. Mike has already completed an apprenticeship but in a very different environment as an engineer for Rolls-Royce Aeronautical. He has also completed a furniture-making course at theIMG_13111-150x150 Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy (right) and was looking for an opportunity to further his knowledge and improve his skills. He joined us in March as our order book became frantic following the development of our outdoor garden furniture range in collaboration with Sitting Spiritually. His engineering and upholstery background has already been put to good use what with processes such as steam-bending components for Floating Benches and covering acoustic panels for TV walls becoming an increasing part of what we do. We look forward to ‘New’ Mike sticking around long enough to become a misnomer!

It gives us great pleasure to find young, enthusiastic makers who really understand what we are trying to achieve and when we do we believe it is our duty to foster and encourage them to make the very best of their individual skills and diverse characteristics. As many teachers and trainers will testify, the best learning is achieved when a problem is solved collaboratively. This has proved to be true for our new recruits who work exceptionally well together when interpreting drawings and approaching challenging tasks, supporting each other to reach a sensible solution: all under the watchful eye of John and ‘Old’ Mike, of course!

So as our workshop team continues to grow, whichever road they took to get to us, and however they choose to travel, whether in a van, a family car, a sporty hatchback, a vintage roadster or even a bike, we are all heading for the same destination…

Tom & Mike FB
Tom and Mike working together on one of the Floating Benches for Sitting Spiritually

The Apprentice – Who Made This?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

We are always on the look out for the next exceptional apprentice, and in Tom we may have found him. Tom is currently still at school doing his A levels, and as part of his Product Design coursework he decided to make a display cabinet, loosely based on one of ours.


Display cabinets, one by us, one by Tom Cornick our next apprentice.

Seeing as he’s only ever made a simple coffee table before this was a really complex piece to take on – both in terms of designing and making. Tom will be starting with us in September on the Didac Apprenticeship scheme, where the formal training happens in the workshop one day a week and the rest of the time he’s working with us and / or on his own projects.

It’s also time for us to say goodbye to our previous junior cabinet maker Dale Jones who is moving on to pastures new. He’s been with us for just over a year and we wish him well in his new employment.