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© All rights reserved

David Gates

  • Cabinetmaker
  • Bridgwater, United Kingdom
  • Master Artisan
David Gates Cabinetmaker
By appointment only
+44 7957227027
© All rights reserved

Tales from the riverbank

  • • David is inspired by the River Thames, close to his studio
  • • He received the Gold award at the Cheongju biennale in 2015
  • • In 2017 he published his doctoral thesis entitled The Makers’ Tongue

The Thames-side studio of Dr David Gates looks out over the industrial sprawl of jetties and wharves, silos, pylons, shipping containers, cranes and the Tate & Lyle factory. This influence can be seen clearly in his work, which in recent years has centred on new interpretations of the collecting cabinet. His pieces “embrace an overall aesthetic and approach that emerges from observation, photography and drawing,” he says. More like three-dimensional pieces of art, David’s cabinets combine all the skills of a master cabinetmaker with his own inimitable aesthetic. “The experience of seeing one of my pieces is an unfolding experience as one walks around it, difficult to communicate in a two-dimensional photograph.”

Read the full interview


  • © David Gates
  • © David Gates
  • © David Gates
  • © David Gates
  • © David Gates
Photo: © David Gates
At Cliff I & II

These two pieces were designed and made as an unmatched pair and are based on industrial structures on the shores of the Thames estuary. The pieces are clearly different from each other yet a dialogue exists between them; a dialogue that can be explored by the user by placing them in different configurations. At Cliffe I&II continue David’s interest in the collecting cabinet as a furniture type.

Height 116 cm
Width 49 cm
Depth 33 cm
Height 120 cm
Width 46 cm
Depth 33 cm

Photo: © David Gates
From Greenwich to The Barrier

This floor-standing cabinet references the industrial architecture close to David’s studio on the River Thames. Like all of his work, hand cut joinery is left exposed to make clear how a piece is constructed. Also, as with all David’s work, the piece has more than one useful front elevation, which, when coupled with the multiple openings and spaces, makes an encounter with the work a slower experience.

Height 115 cm
Width 54 cm
Depth 38 cm

Photo: © David Gates

GYC#2 is one in a series of works that find their basis in a particular group of buildings and structures on the banks of the River Thames, close to David’s studio. The scorched and pigmented finish references the weathered and tarred structures and also has precedents in the Japanese tradition of shou-ban. The panels by Helen Carnac draw on the patina and colour of the buildings. The exterior surfaces contrast with the finesse and lightness of the bird's eye maple and cedar drawers.

Height 135 cm
Width 59 cm
Depth 42 cm

Photo: © David Gates
Littoral Chances I&II

An unmatched pair of cabinets based on the accidental sculptural juxtapositions of stacked and discarded crates seen at coastal locations. Drawers, tambours, fall flaps, and doors provide numerous places to contain and display special objects. The wood’s surfaces are produced by riving, sawing, and planing, revealing various textures making explicit particular bookmatched arrangements. The elliptical section legs are shaped by hand.

Height 110 cm
Width 76 cm
Depth 37 cm

Photo: © David Gates

Lodged was commissioned to house and display a collection of modern jewellery and metalwork, as well as anthropological art. The composition explores the idea of precariousness and balance while carefully making available storage and display areas as drawers, tambours and doors around all sides of the piece. The texture of the material is revealed through riven, bandsawn, scraped and planed surfaces.

Height 140 cm
Width 60 cm
Depth 60 cm

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