David Pye's notes on his fluting engine

Scope and Content

Marianne Straub arranged for Professor Pye to produce notes, with accompanying photographs, illustrating the use of his fluting engine. The notes were typed up at the Crafts Study Centre in 1980, and a final copy was marked by Professor Pye with diagrams. Although Marianne Straub had taken photographs, Professor Pye did not consider them suitable, and it appears that the images used were some he had taken himself. In 1983, Professor Pye offered further notes describing amendments and improvements to the fluting engine, which were also typed up, and provided a further set of negatives, from which 15 images were printed.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Pye (1914-1993) was an accomplished wood-turner and carver, and also worked on the theory of design and handcraft. He trained at the Architectural Association and, reacting against the trend for concrete, specialised in wooden buildings. He was Professor of Furniture Design at the Royal College of Art 1964-1974, during which time he wrote his two major works: The Nature of Design (1964) and The Nature and Art of Workmanship (1968).


  • PYE/1 Notes on the use of the Pye dish-fluting engine, 1980
  • PYE/2 Photographs illustrating use of the fluting engine, 1980
  • PYE/3 Further notes, 1983
  • PYE/4 Photographs to accompany PYE/3, 1983
  • PYE/5 Copy negatives, [1984]

Access Information

Archive material may be viewed by appointment only.


This entry was compiled by Greta Bertram, Crafts Study Centre Curator, June 2020.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue on Crafts Study Centre database. A pdf copy is available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

Written permission must be sought before any archival material is published.

Appraisal Information

None timetabled.


None expected.


Selected biliography

David Pye, The Nature of Design , Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1964.

David Pye, The Nature and Art of Workmanship , Herbert Press, 1968.