Matthew Smith of Dragonfly woodwork specialises in designing and hand making furniture. He produces timeless pieces with exceptional craftsmanship and fierce attention to detail, bringing extraordinary beauty into your home.
Matthew works closely with his clients, using their ideas and goals combined with his own artistic vision to create unique furniture which stimulates the senses of both touch and sight. Using timber, with the occasional collaboration of glass and steel, he oscillates his skills by working with the very straight and perfect lines to the more unusual and naturally formed shapes – to superb effect.
Matthew’s passion for creating stems from his childhood having made a picket fence for his grandparents’ garden at the age of just 10. From this he discovered a passion for working with wood and it is now his main material of choice to work with. Matthew explains, “I was fortunate to work for many customers who appreciated fine detail and highly skilled, traditional craftsmanship.” After 15 years of living and working in Jersey, his heart brought him back to South Wales, where he set up a workshop at the foot of the Brecon Beacons.
Commenting on his work Matthew has said, “Working on furniture for me is a spiritual practice. My goal is to achieve balance and beauty in my pieces, to inspire each and every customer that I work with and to ultimately bring enjoyment that will last for generations.
Since setting up in 2016, Matthew has created a stunning range of unusual pieces for his customers. “I can make anything out of wood! The thing I love the most is when a customer phones up and asks if I can make something, and the answer is invariably ‘Yes’. If there is something they want, I will put in the time and effort to design it and work out the best way to create it. Making things from wood is a natural and organic process, so the time and care you put in ensure the end result is just how you want it to be.”
A recent commission for Dragonfly Woodwork was a large boardroom table in the shape of a tree. After designing the table, the night before the meeting, Matthew sat down with five directors and, before showing them his design, asked them to establish what they thought a boardroom table should be. “I asked them to draw their own table in 15 minutes then present it back to me. They were a bit unsure at first, but they realised during the process how personal a table is to them. We were peeling back the layers and working out exactly what they wanted from it. I then showed them my drawing, which they liked. This gave us a starting point for the design. Collaboration with the customer continues throughout the whole process.”
This kind of personalised and collaborative approach is what makes Dragonfly Woodwork so special. No matter what your project or idea, Matthew will put in the work and care needed to create a stunning and unique piece of furniture.
“Another customer had a 200-year-old oak floor which had been lifted up in his home. He wanted it smartening up but wanted to retain its character, preserving the moulding it had had over the years rather than lying it flat. I sanded it and relayed it with all the contours from before so it was smooth and flowing. The customer also didn’t want any skirting boards, so I had to scribe the floor into the walls. I love a challenge and diving into the unknown.”
Currently, Matthew is creating a bespoke porch for a customer, using Douglas Fir. “It’s a soft wood timber with a beautiful deep pink colour in the grain. The timber is extremely durable for outside use. It’s an open porch with windows so you can see all the rafters, and it’s all traditionally made. After this, I’ll be creating a kitchen – the customer wants a really high level of detail for this, which is what I love to do, so I’m looking forward to working on it.”
Dragonfly Woodwork is based in Wales in the UK but works with clients from all around the world. Visit www.dragonflywoodwork.uk to see a selection of Matthew’s work or to contact him to discuss a piece of furniture or how his skills may help you.
T 07479 252888
Dining table and benches (seen in the photos) are made from Pippy Oak.