What were some of your early influences?
My father was a doctor in London. He loved making things. We had no money—you can imagine the austerity in postwar Britain—but he said, “I’ll always buy you tools and materials if I can.”
My mother was a bit of a romantic. She had a passion for the Sussex Downs, where she bought an abandoned cottage. She also bought a gypsy wagon, which she kept parked in a field at the cottage, visiting on weekends. Eventually, there were five kids in a house with just bedrooms. The wagon became our third bedroom. That wagon, with its canvas roof, was always leaking. It became a rite of passage for each of us to fix this wretched roof. That was how we learned woodworking.