Fine art photographer Laura Dow visited Scottish cabinet maker Gary Luke to see his workshop and found herself interested in the tools he used, hand-making his own when he needed to.

01_Gary_Luke_portrait_clothesline_140818Gary Luke is a cabinet maker that has been producing bespoke fine furniture for clients around the UK for close to thirty years.

For eighteen of those years, he has been working as Templemill Woodworks, based out of a converted barn adjacent to the house that bears his business’ name.


Gary has two sons, one of which is my boyfriend, Jack. Having spent a great deal of time at their home, I became interested in Gary’s workshop and the part of rural Perthshire that it’s based in.

In particular, I am interested in the tools that Gary uses to create his furniture.


Gary makes the most out of what he has and, over a great period of time, often moulds these tools to his specific needs.

For example, looking closely at the homemade sharpener tool — which is made of an old drill bit — you will notice the indent in the metal made by sharpening scrapers countless times.


It’s a rarity to find anything brand new in the workshop; a healthy measure of sentimentality and thriftiness means that Gary’s tools have been used for a number of years.

Gary’s workspace is utilitarian without being curated.


Being so close to his house, there are few home comforts, apart from a sound system and the odd loo roll here and there, but from a work perspective, there’s just about anything you’ll need — innumerable boxes full of various sized nuts, bolts and washers and other gubbins, a dust free finishing room, a dozen-or-so machines and plenty of hand tools.

Although working rurally causes a few problems for Gary — the long drive to buy new timber and the cold and often isolated winters in Perthshire — the workshop space he has would be an incredibly rare find in a city.

It allows Gary to take on larger jobs without the worry of encroaching on other people’s spaces. With no immediate neighbours, noise pollution from the workshop is never an issue, another plus for Gary, who is often heard from the house belting out tunes from Dancing for Mental Health by Will Powers.

To see furniture made by Gary Luke please visit

All words and photographs by Laura Dow – more of her work can be found at or follow her on Instagram.





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