British designer and artisan, Tom Aylwin creates bespoke, high quality furniture.

Using a background studying geology, his pieces are beautifully rich with history and are largely inspired by our connection to nature.

A combination of Tom Aylwin’s passion for geology and his skills as a fine craftsman led to the creation of Contour Boxes, a product which captures the emotional attraction held for a favourite place into a work of art that clients can treasure for a lifetime.

“Sussex landscapes frequently feature in my work. The shapes seen in downland with its smooth, dry valleys and the glimpses of chalk and flint layers beneath are constantly inspiring”

Made from earthy English Oak, clients have the opportunity to choose their favourite place to be recreated accurately from ordnance survey data. The final result is a three-dimensional wooden landscape carved to scale using CNC technology.

His success is not only a measure of his unique skills as a woodworker, but also as a designer with a keen eye for detail. Offering furniture with a twist, Aylwin’s business thrives on his inspiration from the county’s scenic landscapes and picturesque views.

With experience in the industry for twenty years, Aylwin specialises in high-end furniture design and cabinet making with a worldwide client base. Highly trained in Fine Furniture Design and Craftmanship in Oxfordshire, Aylwin has run his own business for 14 years directly from his Lewes workshop. Having previously worked for designers in both France and the UK, he also exhibits his works of art with the Sussex Guild.

Support from Business East Sussex

Business East Sussex collaborated with Aylwin on his journey and awarded him with a ERDF South East Business Boost grant in partnership with East Sussex County Council. Aylwin got in touch with the Growth Hub for help with the purchase of specialist machinery to enhance his productivity and allow him to create a higher volume of smaller, more affordable contour boxes to expand his target market and meet an increase in demand. As a result, the new equipment will boost the profit margin and enable further business growth.

The Contour Box


Aylwin uses his talent to pair thoughtful and innovative design with eco-friendly materials. Dedicated to using British only hardwoods, Aylwin ensures that sustainability is at the heart of every success. Recycled solid silver is used as place markers on all the box tops, with each one carefully finished with Oxmo-Poly-Oil, safe for humans, plants and animals.

Memories fade, but with Aylwin’s sustainable products, clients’ can take away the perfect gift this year that will last a lifetime. Lewes, along with the rest of the county, are aware of the challenges facing us due to climate change. The district is moving towards a circular economy and changing the status quo, with local businesses keen to follow suit.

Filled with hidden gems, Lewes and the surrounding countryside are rich with carpenters, manufacturers and designers of bespoke wooden furniture pioneering for a greener future. A stone’s throw away from Aylwin’s Contour Boxes is Timberdeal and An Earthy Timber, an eco-friendly business situated in the outskirts of Lewes that specialises in transforming wooden planks into sustainable luxurious furniture.

If you are looking to expand or start a sustainable business, get in touch. Our helpful business advisors can offer a comprehensive support programme that is tailored to helping local businesses grow.


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