Elvin Simpson started Warwick Simpson Woodwork in London in the early 1980's.
Elvin studied 3D design at Camberwell School of Art and initially after earning his degree he spent some time modelmaking; some models he worked on are on display in the Wellcome exhibit in the Science Museum in London.
His art school focus had been
ceramics and metalwork, but he developed a keen interest in working with wood. His
cousin, Neil Simpson, had a workshop in Leeds in Kent where he restored
antiques and oil paintings and invited Elvin to spend some time working with
him to learn this and also the arts of inlaid wood and carpentry. Neil now runs a furniture course at Lincoln University.
He returned to London and worked with Tim Webster Joinery on projects which ranged from sash window renovation to making and installing mahogany bookcases for a library room in the Canadian Consulate.
As WSW Elvin has produced a
broad range of pieces including hardwood staircases, cherrywood wardrobes,
kitchens and bespoke studio furniture. He has produced and fitted beautiful furniture
commissioned by architects, interior designers, shop owners and PR and advertising
and design companies. Some pieces featured in "Homes and Ideas" magazine (May 1999 issue), and in a design for living in small spaces supplement with "Cosmopolitan" magazine.
From 2001 to late 2006 he worked as a designer for Hampton Conservatories,and his designs for them have featured in magazines such as "25 Beautiful Houses" (August 2006, November 2006) and on TV programmes like "House of the Year". He left to pursue other interests, including Permaculture and studying for an MSc in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology, where he was a member of the Low Environmental Impact Housing study group. His thesis entitled "UK dwelling upgrade & the sunspace: improvement and a sunspace reduce the heat load of an existing dwelling to 15kWh/sq m/annum", submitted in July 2009, contributed to his coursework to earn him a pass with merit in March 2010.
Now he has returned to building his business in Northern Ireland, with an additional interest in green woodworking and sustainable woodland management, and continues to develop his skills and
aspirations to ‘work wood well’.
Assembling a white oak staircase: So much to do, so little time.