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Hand-turned & hand-finished wood art by Masuma Rahim.





All human beings have evolved to work with our hands, to work with natural materials, and to create the objects we use in our everyday lives. The modern world has made it harder for us to do this, particularly for those of us who live in cities. Many of us live in a constant state of stress, struggling to achieve, whilst simultaneously feeling that we are unable to find the meaning we are searching for. 

At Urban Wood, we are rebelling against that. We know that life should be lived at a slower pace, and that it should offer us a sense of calm. We know that people need connection: connection to others, to their homes, and to the world around them. We are reclaiming sustainable living and traditional skills. We think it’s important to know how and where objects are made, and by whom. We believe it’s important to support ethical working practices, and to ensure that heritage crafts not only survive, but thrive. These are the values we live by.


Born in London, but with East African and Indian heritage, Masuma has a particular interest in working with rare and exotic woods, including mangowood, afromosia, padauk, and beli. She is interested in the ways that form, texture, and process coalesce to build a relationship between the turner and the piece. Each turned item is unique, and every woodturner has their own creative process and style. No two are alike.

To her knowledge, Masuma is the only Muslim woman woodturner working in Britain today. One of her ambitions is for Urban Wood to promote the art and craft of turning to those communities who typically would have little or no exposure to it.






Above all, though, woodturning is fun. After all, what could be more fun than taking a piece of sharpened tool steel to a chunk of hardwood rotating 3000 times a minute? Each piece of wood is different, and although you might go into the workshop with an idea of what you’d like to create, the wood is almost certain to surprise you. Grain, figure, colour, imperfections – all of these things will emerge but none of them can be predicted. It is the job of the turner to allow the timber to reveal what lies within. 




All Urban Wood creations are produced and finished by hand in our London-based workshop by artisan maker, Masuma Rahim. Having spent the last fifteen years working in rehabilitation in charities, hospitals, and prisons, Masuma understands the value of escaping the built environment for the natural world. Increasingly interested in the ways in which the re-learning of traditional crafts and skills can foster healing and recovery from trauma or injury, she is a keen walker, vegetable grower, and, more recently, chicken-keeper. Her least favourite workshop activity is sweeping up the shavings, but she tries to make sure she does it at least every six months.



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If you’re interested in commissioning a piece, in learning more about how we work, or simply in getting to know us, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.


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