Robert Hopkins

Robert is a professional cabinetmaker and furniture restorer based in Llandeilo. A qualified wood machinist, he is a keen woodturner and carver with over 30 years woodworking experience.

Robert's love of shaping wood started at an early age, this was nurtured in school, was tutored a trade in college, becoming a skilled craftsman and mastering his art in woods such as oak, ash and yew. These are sourced locally, they are planked, seasoned undercover, and after several years, made into beautiful handcrafted furniture.

A keen collector of antique Welsh oak furniture, Robert's design influences are drawn from the work of the highly skilled Welsh craftsmen of the 18th and 19th Century who made traditional, functional furniture such as dressers and cupboards. These craftsmen also interpreted and adapted high quality furniture patterns of the fashionable designers of the day such as the Adam brothers, Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite.

The pinnacle of a Welsh cabinetmaker's career is to be chosen as the maker the Chair for the National Eisteddfod of Wales, and in 2013, Robert was commissioned to make the Chair for the 2014 Eisteddfod at Llanelli.

A year later, Robert was invited by the County Museum at Carmarthen to make an oak Welsh dresser as part of the permanent display sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Society for Wales.

Spoon carving has a long tradition in Wales. Robert combines woodturning and carving to produce wonderful lovespoons, display spoons and spoons for the kitchen; he can often be seen in Origin whittling away on his latest creations. His lovespoons have been appreciated all over the world.

Away from woodworking, Robert is also a freelance Roman pottery consultant specialising in samian ware; specifically the First and Second Century potters working in central Gaul, and the late Iron Age – early Roman ceramic industry of the Savernake forest in central Wiltshire. His research has taken him to record museum collections in the UK, France and Spain. In 2004, Robert and his wife Wendy were awarded Cardiff University's D.R. Evans Prize for their work on cataloguing and producing 3,500 plates for a 13 volume set of books published by the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz. His published research papers have appeared in national and regional journals, while various papers of local interest have been published in 'The Carmarthenshire Antiquary'. Part of the work Robert has undertaken for the University of Leeds appeared as a CDROM for the Study Group for Roman Pottery in 2010.

Two of Robert's Roman pottery reports can be found here: