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Joseph Mulligan, Cabinet maker


I was born in the fifties in rural south east England growing up in the New Forest, where my father worked as a gamekeeper. He sometimes carved lovely wooden bowls, he would let me help sandpapering them and rub in the linseed oil, my love of woodwork must have started then. Some years later after a full life as Roofer, restorer of old houses, stage carpenter, set and scenery rigger, touring and building stages all over Europe, exhibition stand builder, antique dealer, furniture restorer and maker of many pieces of furniture...I began a new life in France as the guardian of an old dairy farm near the lovely church of Monbos.

For the past few years, in between carpentry, and multi service, i have been making furniture in France. I like to make use of reclaimed wood, ancient oak boards or even some elm planks off the chicken shed. For bigger commissions i work with a local sciere, who has a good stock of native french woods well-seasoned, a steep learning curve I now know about plane tree, maple, alder...etc. As well as french oak which I love. My aim if any, is to help the wood speak for itself


As an antique dealer I developed a passion for simple country furniture from the past, especially the early 18 C. Everyday objects from this period, even garden tools can have a profound beauty, at its best the furniture reflects the harmony of hand and eye and an unbroken transmission of woodworking skills from centuries past. Wood was hard won by hand, seasoned for the next generation sometimes, and never wasted. The balance between lightness of form and durability can be seen in a simple country chair, knowledge of the qualities of each tree, perfect proportions achieved with natural grace. Irregularity and imperfections, the patina of wax and age bring out the colour and grain of the wood.

Joseph Mulligan,
Cabinet maker

Le Caillou
24 240 Thenac
Tel. +33 (0)
5 53 24 61 59
Email :

Workshop open by appointment




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