Meet the Team – Mark

Meet Mark – CAD designer

Mark has worked at Plankbridge for four years, and came to us from a career in reprographics in the print industry. He qualified in Art and Design at Bournemouth and has broad experience in music, designing, making and a whole host of other things. He brings with him an analytical attention to detail.

What does he do at Plankbridge?

We initially recruited Mark as part of the shepherd’s hut making team, and he was soon making a hut project on his own after shadowing our senior hutmakers. That’s how it works when we recruit; a newcomer will work alongside the team for some time before getting a shepherd’s hut to work on when they are ready, with lots of guidance from the others. We eventually channelled Mark’s making experience and his design background into creating a dedicated drawing office, set appropriately enough in an old living van. I’m a great believer that, working in such an environment, it helps the design process being surrounded with the details and the craft that were integral to such things in times past. Mark uses Sketch Up Pro on a 27” twin screen Apple Mac, and creates both the concept drawings for the customers and the workshop drawings for the makers to work from. It is clearly a big advantage for our customers that the designs are being generated by someone who has the best hutmaking experience, you can really see how the finished hut layout will work. This is an advance on my early hand drawn sketches, although the initial thoughts are still sketched by me as a customer’s ideas are discussed and become reality.

Having just looked up the definition of a ‘stickler’ as being someone who insists things are done a certain way, then Mark is indeed a stickler. Which is perhaps what we need in the design department to temper my ‘yes we can’ approach!

Where is his favourite place to eat in Dorset?

Myra’s Kaiseki in Dorchester which is a Japanese fine dining restaurant; he says he likes Japanese food and the staff are so welcoming. A London quality dining experience in the heart of Dorchester.

It’s best not to leave cake around as Mark has some kind of inbuilt cake detector and, gannet like, it will be gone. I never did get my slice of Josh’s Victoria sponge..

What has he done with the shepherd’s huts recently that he particularly enjoyed?

He says that drawing up a shepherd’s hut to include a Finnish sauna was enjoyable. We’ve done a few saunas over the years, and it’s interesting exploring the correct use of different timbers, and the heat resistant cabling etc that is required. He enjoys new things, such as spending some training time on the forge with a blacksmith.

What makes for a good weekend?

A long walk with friends in the Yorkshire Dales is a nice break from the busy world of shepherd’s huts, ideally followed by a proper Yorkshire steak pie, chips and a pint in the Buck Hotel in Reeth.

What do you like about being at Plankbridge?

He likes it that the day to day work for the leading shepherd’s hut workshop engenders a certain amount of pride. It doesn’t get boring and he often has to find ways to meet customer’s requirements. We have been dipping our toes into the Tiny House movement recently, and that is potentially an interesting path.

‘We always enjoy rising to a challenge’, he muses, ‘and finding solutions to the things customers send our way.’

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