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Emma Chesterman

Emma Chesterman of Dead Mary’s handcrafts and turns beautiful wooden and concrete furniture in her London workshop.

"There is something life affirming about working with wood. Creating beautiful furniture with this living material to making something that lives beyond your life and beyond the many lives of others is a privilege. A beautifully made piece of furniture can exist across generations and live many lives."

Furniture maker, Emma Chesterman, has always had a passion for crafting furniture from wood. From a young age, she would help her father make furniture. Emma's father was a draughtsman and had all the neat precision instruments and tools to make furniture that Emma was fascinated by. After taking a short course at the London School of Furniture, she decided to do a two year course in Fine Furniture Making at The Building Crafts College in Stratford and qualified as a bench joiner and fine furniture maker. She began working alongside some of the most talented furniture makers in the country whilst simultaneously starting her business, Dead Mary's.

Emma designs furniture that solves problems. She likes to look for answers to problems through functional design and bringing it to life by weaving in the the story of how it came to be. She loves elegant design but also pieces that do not take themselves too seriously. "My creations reflect my curiosity with the way in which made things endure through the lives of people. Great furniture doesn’t just live one life it exists and gets passed on through many."

Dead Mary's gets its name from a real person in Emma's life. Mary was a spirited woman that Emma had met in France who travelled the world collecting furniture, clothes and experiences along the way. Emma looked after Mary in her old age, listened to her stories and recounted them to friends. Mary's house told the story of her life. The furniture and clothes gathered from her travels, uniquely familiar and timeless were like old friends. Her style had a simple playful elegance, it spoke of quality and character. When Mary died, she left Emma some of her things. Emma would wear Mary's clothes and when anyone would ask her where she got it from as it was beautiful she would reply, "It's dead Mary's."

Author's Choice

Emma's aptly named 'Within Arm's Reach' Tables are perfect for sitting next to a reading chair for a G&T or cup of tea. They also work well nestled together in different sizes in the corner of a room or stand alone. We adore the craftsmanship in the gorgeous hand turned table tops expertly crafted by Emma. It is clear to see the resemblance of spinning plates which the table's design was first inspired by.

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