Petter Southall

Sladers Yard is the showroom for award-winning designer craftsman Petter Southall’s furniture and other creations in wood. Originally from Norway, he makes his designs using innovative combinations of boat-building and fine cabinet-making techniques. A good selection of his work can always be seen here.

Talk to us about ideas and commissions. We can put you in touch with Petter and draw on his previous designs and ideas. He works mainly to order, designing new pieces or making already existent designs to meet your needs and desires perfectly. He keeps Sladers Yard stocked with one-off and small batch pieces which can be bought direct from here and shipped to you, wherever you are.

Please contact the gallery on or telephone 01308 459511 with any enquiries. Pieces that are available to buy now are priced or marked £POA (price on application).

Please click on the links below to see the work that is in the gallery now.

For more information about Petter please visit his website:

Petter’s designs have a distinctive Scandinavian confidence. He works in unique beautiful pieces of oak, ash, elm and other Northern European hardwoods, often using wood sourced from the area local to his customers. He specialises in steam bending thick solid boards into the arches, twists, curves and rings that are so striking in his designs. His work is built to last, using immaculate craftsmanship and attention to detail. His through-joinery creates the decorative effect in most of his designs. Petter is conscious of the health-giving qualities of natural materials and works hard to avoid emissions by using as little glue as possible and working mostly in solid timber or where necessary cutting his own veneers. His polishes are natural oils and waxes but he also offers a tactile washed finish which is a very smooth surface with nothing between you and the wood. This can be kept clean by washing with soap and water and over time builds up a beautiful natural patina. Petter’s furniture is made to last and be passed on through generations, in use bringing pleasure every day to the home, workplace or public space.

Unadorned simplicity, coupled with extreme attention to detail and quality of workmanship


Commissions include the directors’ dining room at the National Gallery, the boardroom for Barbican Art Gallery, reception and boardroom furniture for many different companies and corporations mainly in London & locally for Bridport Town Hall, LSI and Lyme Regis Philpot Museum. He has designed and made public art seating for Cambridge Science Park, the Wessex Ridgeway Sculpture Trail, Sanctuaries for Newton Abbott and Minehead Hospitals & the Macmillan Garden at Hereford Hospital. In 2019 his Wave Pavilion was commissioned for Tom Hoblyn’s Dubai Majlis Show Garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Private commissions have been numerous and varied, sometimes including milling and drying trees from clients’ own land.

Petter has been working wood since he was 17 when he returned to Norway to study traditional boatbuilding first as an apprentice, then at the Jondal wooden boat building school and later at a special selected apprenticeship to learn to build the highly prized Oselvar Faering, an open sailing rowboat known as the Stradivarius of the sea. For seven years Petter built boats, running his own boatyard in Norway and later building yachts in Maine. He still sails his first Oselvar from West Bay harbour.

He studied cabinetmaking at the College of the Redwoods in California with James Krenov, whose deeply thoughtful approach contributed to Petter’s direct and honest language in wood. In 1989 Petter came to UK to study sustainable design at John Makepeace’s forward-looking Hooke Park College. Already an outstanding woodworker, Petter benefitted from a high level of publicity and lecturers from all parts of business and design. He graduated with commissions, including a dining room for the sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink, and set up his i tre workshop at Chilcombe in West Dorset where he has worked ever since usually with a team of craftsmen and apprentices.

Deceptively simple yet utterly sophisticated… The objects of my desire are made by the furniture designer Petter Southall.


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