Royal and Ancient Burgh of Lauder  
home > history > people of note > tim stead

Tim Stead (1952-2000)

Tim Stead was born in the Cheshire countryside, surrounded by the trees and bracken which would inspire him throughout his life. He studied fine art at Trent Polytechnic, before moving to Glasgow to continue his studies at the Glasgow School of Art. It was here that his passion for creating from the wood he loved came to the fore, a passion that was to fill his life for the remainder of his all too short life.

Major commissions followed, the most notable being Café Gandolfi in Glasgow (1979), The Memorial Chapel in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen, the Peephole in the Gallery of Modern Art (1996) and his last major work, in collaboration with other talented and skilled craftsmen, the Millennium Clock in the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

When he moved to the Borders, to Harestanes near Jedburgh, he was a founding member of the Woodschool which enables craftsmen to develop the skills needed to make full use of local, native timbers.

In 1986 he launched the "Axes for Trees" project, which involved making one wooden axe head for every day of the year, and selling them to raise money to plant trees. He was also a co-founder of the Borders Forest Trust and played a leading role in the Millennium Forest project, which created Community Woodlands throughout Scotland.

His own favourite wood at Wooplaw, near Blainslie where he lived, is a natural memorial to his dedication and it is fitting that it should be his last resting place. He passed away on 21st April 2000.

For his work in the community, he was awarded the MBE in 2000.

He sculpted, designed, crafted, conserved and wrote poetry, but above all he inspired.

His widow, Maggy has continued his work and manages The Tim Stead Workshop at Blainslie, which continues his work.

Further info:
Tim Stead Workshop

A Major New Exhibition is being staged in 2005 in The Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh:

From 26 June 2005 to 4 September 2005
With the Grain - The Life and Work of Tim Stead
10am-5pm, Exhibition Hall.

A new exhibition celebrating the life and work of post-war Scotland's most inspirational and influential furniture maker. For the first time this show brings together many different strands of Tim Stead's life as a conservationist, poet and designer, along with the better-known furniture maker and sculptor.

No booking required.


Tim Stead Furniture Maker Lauder Scotland