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Oxley’s is a British English garden furniture company that prides itself on craftsmanship and creating beautiful and sustainable outdoor furniture intended to last generations. Another British company that shares these values is Haddonstone, a specialist in the design and manufacture of architectural and garden stonework. Both Oxley’s and Haddonstone are based in the rolling countryside of central England. This countryside has a timelessness where the stone walled villages and hedge wrapped fields look almost exactly as they would have done three hundred years ago at the start of the industrial revolution.
The reputation for English craftsmanship, respected around the world, dates back to this time in the seventeenth century when England was the original producer for the many items the world now takes for granted. Companies set up for Josiah Wedgewood for tableware, Thomas Chippendale for furniture and the Coalbrookdale family in iron casting for instance, produced goods that were exported around the world and were famed for their craftsmanship. This craftsmanship is all about making beautiful objects that last the test of time. These companies were amongst the first to set up manufacturing systems that enabled them to produce items of consistently high quality by, amongst other things, developing the art of pattern making.
Craftsmanship like this seems to be a thing of the past for a lot of companies, but Oxley’s and Haddonstone are examples of creating beautiful pieces made to last generations. One of the key skills used today by both companies is pattern making, which is an essential skill for their employees and the success of their business. Partnered with the art of mould making, which requires exquisite joinery skills and the ability to visualise the 3D mirror image of the final piece to be cast, results in moulds that create truly stunning designs. Oxley’s uses moulds for sand casting liquid molten aluminium to create each piece of beautiful and sustainable outdoor furniture and Haddonstone create their own wooden and rubber moulds, which are then used to produce their intricate designs.
Both companies have a work force who are specialists at what they do, with processes that are essential to each business. These processes are taught from generation of employees to the next, with some employees being with the company for more than a quarter of a century. The experienced staff pass on their skills and “tricks of the trade” showing how to effectively use the manufacturing equipment, such as enormous batch ovens, to make their elegant products in the best way possible. Continuing the long-standing reputation of beautiful English craftsmanship.
Of course, it is not just the old skills which make these companies successful. for instance, todays use of 3D design and printing are used in more and more application by both. Combining practices old and new to create pieces that both stand the test of time and are relevant to modern society.
Craftsmanship in today’s world is just as important as it was with our ancestors to ensure products are being made to stand the test of time and grace gardens for generations. Many companies have moved towards a more wasteful approach to manufacturing, whereas Oxley’s and Haddonstone continue to make in a way that is synonymous with the history of British craftsmanship. As an English garden furniture company, Oxley’s will continue to make with the same skill and care as our forefathers did. Creating luxury garden furniture that can be handed down from generation to generation.