Peter began his career at the age of 17 in a full time apprenticeship with ex-W.E. Hill & Sons bow maker Garner Wilson. There he learned the technical skills of bowmaking, following the rigourous Hill method, from accurate stick planing to the minutiae of precise frog-work. Subsequent to his apprenticeship he changed track for three years, studying jazz at the Leeds College of Music. After graduating, he embarked on the professional life of both bow maker and musician, which he continues today.
This dual career began when in 1985, he moved to Paris and initially worked as a ‘repairer’ of bows. He became engrossed in this work and gradually became a specialist in the restoration of 19th century French bows.
In 1995 Oxley was invited by Bernard Millant (the pre-eminent expert world-wide of French bows) to speak at the Musicora International Symposium of Bows on the subject of restoration.
It was through the study of such bows which were continually on his bench that he learned a whole new concept of style to that which he had been taught during his apprenticeship. He began making again under his own name (whilst still in Paris), incorporating the English method with the French aesthetic. He relocated to Oxford in 1996 where he continues to both make new bows and restore old masters