West Dorset furniture maker Alice Blogg brings out the beauty of wood with her striking furniture. Joanna Davis finds out more.

Being creative is in Alice Blogg's blood.

Coming from a family of creative people it was perhaps inevitable that she would become part of Dorset's fast growing network of designers and makers.

Her mother Penelope is a seamstress, her father Maurice a carpenter, her brother Henry a fashion designer and brother George a Michelin-starred chef.

And the creativity doesn't stop there - Alice recently married Fergus Peterkin, another designer who works with wood in neighbouring Somerset.

But Alice, who makes furniture from her workshop in Nettlecombe, near Bridport, has had to count on more than her genes to make her business a success - by putting in the hours and starting from nothing.

Alice is so in demand that she has commissions taking her up to June next year, with both private and commercial clients wanting to own a piece of her bespoke furniture.

She said: "We were creative when we were younger and I did design at school and 3D design at university but it was never like I wanted to be a furniture maker but I always wanted to do something creative. I had a job in London and came back to Dorset and started working as a joiner.

"In London I was trying to be creative but there wasn't enough space and in Dorset there was enough space but I didn't know what to do in design."

Alice, who grew up in Dorchester, worked as a joiner by day and in the evenings would teach herself how to make furniture.

Eight years ago she rented someone's bench space and started to do her own thing and five years ago she acquired her workshop at Nettlecombe.

"It's been quite organic," she said.

"When I started I didn't understand the business side of it and if someone had told me what I know now I don't think I'd have wanted to do it."

Alice makes bespoke furniture for each client and was particularly thrilled with a bench she designed and made for the Bridport LSI (Literary and Scientific Institute).

She said: "The bench was made with eight scorched ash stools. The stools were from a tree less than a mile from my studio. It's a beautiful English oak and was taken down by the same guy who planted the tree. I really enjoyed doing it."

Working with wood and the origin of the timber fascinates Alice.

She said: "It's an amazing natural material and the more I understand about it, where it comes from and how it's linked to nature, the better it is to work with.

"I grew up with my mum taking us on long walks and always being outside, it was part of out childhood. I grew up foraging and now it's lovely that I've come back to Dorset and I'm being creative and working with wood as my job."

Alice has made pieces of furniture for clients all over the world in locations as far flung as New York and Munich.

"I make items that are bespoke to a certain room and it starts with a client contacting us and me discussing with them what they want. The process isn't like it takes a week to make in the workshop. I'm working on projects at the moment that will take me up to May next year.

"The thing I've realised by running a business is you have to be realistic.

"At the moment I'm working on a staircase and a walk-in wardrobe and there's a lot of work in the design process. I work very closely with the client on it."

Barely taking a pause for breath returning from honeymoon, Alice then travelled to Brazil, where she assisted with setting up work spaces for single mums to empower them and help make a potential employment creative community.

In today's society of instant gratification, the thought and care that goes into Alice's work is a refreshing change.

"I see the piece in my head right from the start. A lot of the time they like to come and see the piece being made. Because there's such a close relationship with my process, the client has to wait for it and it's about flow and giving it time to be made," she said.

The business Alice Blogg Designer and Maker has been going so well that Alice has had to take on others to help with the making process.

She said: "These days I have less time to make because there's so much to do and I've got to have other people to help me. It's been amazing to know I've come so far."

*Alice Blogg Designer and Maker, Nettlecombe, near Bridport

W: aliceblogg.co.uk

T: 01308 485517