Peter has loved playing with wood from an early age. It continued to be a passion through school where he won prizes for Woodwork and Mathematics. After pursuing Maths to degree level he returned to his first love and decided to make furniture. He studied at Manchester College of Art and Technology before working for 6 years alongside established maker, Garry Olson and then setting up his own workshop in 1998. In 2007 he moved to his current home in Cumbria with his partner Sarah and started converting a derelict barn into the workshop.
Over the last 18 years Peter has produced a wide range of furniture and many smaller products. He has researched and developed techniques for every aspect of the process from felling the tree to applying the final finish and continues to do so. He has never lost his passion for the material and creating exciting new work.
Along with Garry Olson, Peter organised the groundbreaking onetree project. They took a single 170 year old oak tree from Tatton Park in Cheshire and gave parts of it to 75 artists, designers, makers and manufacturers across Britain. The resulting book and touring exhibition demonstrated the amazing versatility and value of native timbers. The project was much admired and has inspired at least 12 similar projects across the world.
As well as making furniture Peter has worked on many projects. He has taught at Manchester Metropolitan University, served as a specialist advisor to the Scottish Arts Council and worked as curator on an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. He was secretary and president of the Scottish Furniture Makers Association and organised exhibitions across Scotland including during the Edinburgh Festival.
For more on Peter Toaig see www.toaig.com