I was in London, when I heard the sad news. For somone who has been part of the European Kitchen Design business for more than 30 years, Mark Wilkinson was one of the greats.
Directly out of the Mark Wilkinson’s web site:
It is with great sadness that Canburg announces that Mark Wilkinson OBE, one of the world’s most influential designers has passed away peacefully at his home in Wiltshire.
A truly English “eccentric” Mark Wilkinson was a visionary designer and an exceptionally skilled craftsman and furniture maker. Amongst other accolades, he was a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers of the City of London; in 2010 he was awarded an OBE for Services to the Furniture Industry and Charity. Mark was also a member of MENSA.
During his long career his designs ranged from clothing to object d’art, but it is for furniture that he will be best remembered. In 1977 his first kitchen design in old pine pioneered the “English Country kitchen” and launched a new industry specialising in this aesthetic and style of living. Mark was a co-founder of Smallbone of Devizes and in 1981 he founded Mark Wilkinson Furniture. The company was sold to Canburg in 2009 and Mark was made Group Creative Director; he remained involved in the business until his death.
Best described as “furniture alchemy” the designs and artisan making of Mark Wilkinson Furniture carries forward Mark Wilkinson’s values in every piece that the company makes – inspired by a sustainable vision of bespoke furniture, rich with heritage and imbued with Mark’s infectious creativity.
Born in 1950, in North London, Mark’s early educational experiences as a child with dyslexia, informed both professional choices and personal passions. He had a long-standing commitment to supporting charities for dyslexia and the educational needs of children with the disability. He and his wife, Cynthia, had recently formed the Mark Wilkinson Foundation for Innovation and Employment to help further the ambitions and careers of young people with dyslexia.