About Us

gorlech - The journey so far...

gorlech are Claire and Paul, designer-makers based in rural West Wales.    

We love to work with wood that we have sourced ourselves from our local area.   

Alongside running the woodcraft business, we do gardening and woodland conservation work, which gives us access to some lovely local, sustainably sourced hardwoods. 

In our 'spare time' you will find us beachcombing the stunning coastline of West Wales (sometimes in our Kayaks) on the hunt for sea-weathered wood.    

Our true passion, however, is working with naturally-weathered oak 'heartwood'. This 'heartwood' is the structural strength of the tree, revealed by the natural ageing process as external sapwood decays on an ancient oak tree. You may have seen these striking 'stag's head' branches on living oaks - well, this is our material of choice…   

We didn’t always work with wood, however…   

We met in 2008 on a post-graduate Management Diploma. At that time, Paul was an Area Manager at Wessex Water and Claire was on the Graduate Management Scheme at the council. We spent the first six years of our relationship traveling in opposite directions to jobs that didn’t provide us with the personal satisfaction that we desired. So, in 2014 we moved to rural West Wales to start a new life closer to the land and each other. 

gorlech feels very much like the coming together and harmonisation of our combined skills, interests and experiences…    

Paul had a passion for woodworking from a young age when a family friend introduced him to woodturning. This passion stayed with him throughout his life and developed into wood carving and an exploration of the traditional techniques of green woodworking. Growing up in a remote location on the picturesque Quantock Hills in Somerset, Paul has harboured a life-long love of nature - particularly woodlands – that now inspires much of gorlech’s products and pieces…   

Claire, on the other hand, likes to organize, clean and ‘turn nothing into something’. She is happiest when searching the beach for her ‘pretties’ (unusual pieces of wood) or scrubbing the years of accumulated dirt and debris off ancient oak heartwood, revealing the natural beauty within.

Together, Paul and Claire bring out the best of wood (and each other) using their 'Modern Rustic' style to create 'Hygge' (a Danish word pronounced “HUE-gah”,  a feeling of well-being, so deeply satisfying and cozy) or as the Welsh would say 'Cwtch' (pronounced "Kutch", a safe cosy place) - what home doesn't need that?