Meet The Team
Head Cabinetmaker, Technical Tutor & Master Craftsman
Daren runs the tuition and has done so at Rowden for nearly 20 years. Obsessed with woodwork since early childhood, Daren undertook a traditional four year apprenticeship after leaving school. He embarked on a career that’s taken him from London to New York and Dubai. He has worked in many places at the very top of fine furniture making, earning his Guild Mark at Rowden, in 2007.
Challenging and encouraging in equal measure, Daren delivers the advanced practical training at Rowden at the bench and in the daily lectures. He leads in pushing all our students to be the best makers they can be. His attention and focus inspire most who come through Rowden. We know Daren as one of the best tutors and makers there is.
“Daren is amazing, he is one of those quiet, calm people that never gets flustered and always seems to have an answer to the problem”.
Ed Wild: Art & Design Tutor
Ed Wild is a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and a national award-winning furniture designer-maker. Before his career as a fine woodworker, Ed was at Lancaster University where he taught both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
He is a demanding teacher who helps each student find their capacity as a designer and maker. Ed’s tuition bridges both the practical and the theory driven aspects of our courses.
Beyond the bench, Ed teaches artistic drawing and guides students in the processes necessary for accomplished design. In our experience, drawing can mean the difference between being a run of the mill or great maker. Being able to draw is an essential part of what we do, and it is an integral part of your fine woodworking course. Under Ed, your drawing skills will improve. That in turn will inform and enable your visual vocabulary, and thus, your design skills will improve too. He is patient, but unwavering in his commitment to excellence in design.
Jon Greenwood: Cabinetmaking Tutor
Jon is often the first tutor you will spend time with at Rowden. He will move you from novice to meeting our standard with hand tools as well as machines. Jon will show you how to cut a dovetail, mark out mortice and tenon joinery, glue up panels and a wealth of other fundamental skills. He will introduce you to the machining environment and ensure you are competent with these hazardous tools.
Jon came to Rowden after a time with a world-renowned commercial workshop nearby, making for sheikhs and heads of state. He is the guardian of the quality of handwork at Rowden. Jon’s guidance will get you to that tight joint and polished surface.
Jonathan Walter: Business Tutor
Jonathan has a wealth of experience both at the height of traditional business and in furniture making. Before becoming a cabinetmaker, Jonathan was Vice President with a major investment bank where he worked in the city of London, New York and Brazil. He changed his path in 2002, retraining as a cabinetmaker and coming to Rowden in 2007. Jonathan runs both Bark Furniture in nearby Bude, as well as Mallo Surfboards.
He is pragmatic, personable and an excellent maker. With Jonathan’s experience and guidance, Rowden students have the best possible opportunity to take their new skills into a commercial setting with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of how the industry works.
MATTHEW LACEY: GENERAL MANAGER & PHOTOGRAPHER
Matthew leads our development, operations and delivery at Rowden. Infrastructure, logistics and the practicalities of the work we do at Rowden all fall under his remit. He is also resident photographer for all our student and bespoke work.
PHIL COOK: CAD TUTOR
Phil has an in-depth knowledge of 3D CAD and how this is applied and deployed in creative work. Working as a product designer, he has overseen hundreds of designs from concept to production and Rhino 3D is an integral part of his project work. Phil has been delivering advanced Rhino training for over 15 years. As well as Rowden students, he has trained many creative and furniture specific businesses including Waywood Furniture, Joseph Walsh Studio, Foster + Partners, UAL Central St. Martins, Heatherwick Studio and McLaren Automotive.
Rachel Hudson: Administrator
Rachel is a crucial cog in the smooth running of Rowden and on hand for current and potential students. Rachel helps incoming and on site students with many of the practical aspects of being at Rowden. For help finding accommodation nearby, navigating North Devon or making it to Rowden – contact Rachel.
David Savage: Our Founder
"Design is complex. It involves uncommon skill and judgement, but these are not talents reserved for the fortunate few. They are acquired...with effort"
David Savage’s philosophy has influenced the work of all the team. A lifetime of experience in bespoke furniture, David moved from his Bideford workshop to the rural setting at Rowden in 1995.
He was an accomplished artist, furniture designer, writer and inspiration to all who followed his work. He continued to design outstanding furniture whilst building the foundations for Rowden to become the renowned school it is today.
David was careful to preserve the ‘meaning in the work’ and felt the team at Rowden had to epitomise this sense. The team at Rowden is accordingly select and longstanding.
Daren Millman worked with David as his most trusted craftsman for over 15 years and started the revolution of the training at Rowden after joining in 2003. David also trained Ed Wild, Jon Greenwood, Matthew Lacey and Jonathan Walter directly, each individual living the ethos, the excellence, and the objectives of Rowden Atelier.
He retired from teaching entirely by 2016, and sadly passed away at the start of 2019. It is his own training in the Arts and Crafts lineage and his ideals that drive our ethics, frame how we treat one another, and the work, at Rowden Atelier.