Jamie Zennor Downes-Atkins (CO05)

Zennor Made – Handmade, Bespoke, Recycled

During a recent catch up with my old Design and Technology teacher, and now Mentor, Tim Tall, it was suggested that I drop by the school for a quick visit to catch up with the many members of staff that inspired and guided me through my studies.

Obviously no visit to Truro School would be complete without a tour of the Design Technology department. This area of the school is where the majority of my fondest memories are held, and most definitely where my passions lay.

As a student I had a real affinity with the subject and can remember the hours spent during any free time and indeed after school, designing, creating and manufacturing a wide variety of pieces. My visit brought me back to find the exact same culture amongst a hive of activity still present and thriving, a somewhat humbling experience.

When I look back at my time at Truro School I feel exceptionally lucky and fortunate to have been a student there, and when asked to contribute to the school’s newsletter I was naturally excited and it is with real pleasure that I am able to write this article and give a brief update to staff, students and parents, current and alumni of my life after Truro School.

After Truro I kept up my design and craft skills but mostly as a hobby with the occasional commission from friends and family. It is fair to say that in the last 11 years my life has changed completely. My 7 year old daughter challenges me in new ways and is showing signs of having inherited the family creative gene and we can often be found in the workshop together, where she recycles and up-cycles my forgotten off-cuts giving them a new lease of life!

I’ve been lucky in many respects to have had some wonderful employment opportunities in the surf and leisure industry and more recently the travel and tourism industry, however, I always felt that I could turn my hobby into something more sustaining whilst retaining my integrity as an artist.

In 2013 I began building a workshop and slowly over time buying and collecting the requisite tools to create and manufacture whatever I could conceive and fit into the working space available.

In 2016 I have made the leap and transitioned smoothly from full time employment to self-employment. Thus Zennor Made was born! The concept was simple – work with local wood, source it responsibly, reclaim it, use natural products to enhance finish, longevity and performance. From the first cut to the last polish, handmade bespoke designs, carefully conceived, crafted and completed with waste at a minimum. Work with local landowners sourcing wood from fallen trees, mill, season and then the best part…create!

Woodturning was a skill I very much discovered at Truro School and forms a large part of my work, allowing me to explore wood in a unique way and often inspiring larger pieces. This can be a real help when developing ideas with clients, resulting in truly bespoke commissioned pieces.

Wishing everybody at Truro School past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jamie can be contacted at: jamie@zennormade.com  www.zennormade.com  mob: 07890793157