Hi, I’m James. I co-founded Sorell in 2012 with my old school friend David Buchanan Dunlop after spending a couple of years working by myself designing and making bespoke furniture. I now run Sorell by myself but still with the same aims and ethos that we began with back in 2012 - always seeking to make beautifully crafted pieces of furniture and home accessories to the highest standards, designed to meet the individual aspirations of our clients. Find out more about our approach to achieving this here- Bespoke Process.
My interest in design and making began at school. I quickly realised that it is what I wanted to do in life and in 1999 I was lucky enough to be accepted into Buckinghamshire Chilterns University (now Bucks New University) to study Furniture Design and Craftsmanship- at the time one of the most highly regarded furniture design and making courses around and it was a great 3 years.
I then spent 8 years working on some incredible projects at Ben Dawson Furniture- the standout project for me being the debating desks and Presiding Officers desk for the Scottish Parliament. Having gained a vast amount of experience and enjoyment from working on the prestigious jobs here I decided to give it a go on my own in 2010. I wanted to be able to design and make and thankfully I have had amazing clients over the years that has allowed me to be able to do this.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of bespoke work for me is the collaboration with clients to identify and solve the ‘problem' they have and the (sometimes long) journey we go on to create the best solution possible that is unique for them.
What we do
Woodwork is often thought of as a traditional craft, but we work with an open mind about how modern technology and other materials can enhance our designs. So, we are just as likely to be found programming a CNC machine to cut out components from Corian as we are to be found using a hand plane to refine the fit of a drawer. The key for us is using the most appropriate technique and material to make the best quality work that will stand the test of time and fit the customer’s needs. We use this same ethos whether it is for our bespoke pieces or our select range of products.
Bespoke furniture and kitchens are the core of our work, but we also design and make a small range of products for sale in our online shop.