New Lamps for Handmade at Kew

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First day of Handmade at Kew today, where I have a stand selling my latest addition to the Cantilever Collection – All Angles! lamps.  Featured in the picture above and to be added to the portfolio pages soon!  Handmade at Kew is a fantastic contemporary craft event at Kew Gardens, from 12th to 15th October opens from 10am to 6pm each day.

Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design

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Delivered my new Extending Dining Table to Cheltenham earlier this week and the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design exhibition is now open!  Starts today and will end on Monday 28th August, open 10am to 4pm daily.  At Thirlestaine Long Gallery, Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7LD.  Loads of exciting designer/maker furniture on show and for sale – some amazing pieces from all around the country.  See for more information.

CCD SELECTION @ Craft Central, Clerkenwell

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Delivered my latest piece, a Slimline Elm Desk with stool, to Craft Central in Clerkenwell (31-35 St John’s Square, London, EC1M 4DS).  The ‘CCD Selection’ event begins tomorrow, 16th May until 20th May and is open every day between 12 noon and 7pm.

This event offers a sneak peak of 22 designer-makers from the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design (CCD) exhibition in Cheltenham in August.  It is a selling exhibition of bespoke furniture, with selected work from other disciplines such as jewellery and glass.  Further information available at

Meet the Maker day is Tuesday 16th, from 3pm to 7pm.  Come on over and take a look at all the lovely pieces on display!

Craft & Design Magazine – Cantilever Cake Stand Featured

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The March/April Issue of Craft & Design Magazine is the final printed issue of this excellent magazine and I am thrilled to have my Cantilever Cake Stand mentioned in it as one of the Emerging Designer talents. The future for the magazine will be Craft&Design online, to be launched later this year – keep an eye out for it!

Olive Ash Mantle Shelf

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This bespoke Olive Ash Mantle Shelf was made for a client who had a new wood burning stove installed and wanted to replace the original fire surround.  With bespoke shaping of the top and detail on the underneath panel, as specified by the client, the new mantle shelf has provided an attractive addition to their living room.

New Facebook Page!

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Irene Banham Furniture now has a Facebook Page!  Informal and more regular updates from the workshop and other furniture news will be posted on the Facebook page.  Check out my Facebook Page – and don’t forget to like it!!

Fine Furniture Display at the New Forest Show – July 26th, 27th and 28th

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The New Forest and Hampshire County Show opens today for three days, last day is the 28th July.

The New Forest Trust stages an inspiring Fine Crafted Wood Exhibition each year in The Pavilion at the show and this year I have four of my pieces on display.  The Tree Revealed Television Table, Contemporary Whatnot, Cushion on a Crate and Cantilever Cake Stand.

The Future of the New Forest is more certain and sustainable if its timber continues to be used to make useful things, because this ensures resources return to the Forest to pay for its conservation. Professionals are invited to exhibit pieces that demonstrate their styles, design and craftsmanship, while those in training are invited to demonstrate their skills by participating in the competition judged by three professionals.

All the pieces of furniture on show can be offered for sale. The public, adults and children, are also invited to vote for their favorite piece of furniture on display.
All this can be seen in the beautiful Pavilion at the Show – a fine piece of wood craftsmanship in itself – and a beautiful place to unwind and browse the inspiring pieces.

Head on over to see the display and I will be there all day on Thursday 28th July if you would like to talk to me about any of the pieces.

CCD Selection at London Craft Week : 3rd-7th May 2016

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Craft Central Logo


Exciting news! – I will be exhibiting in CCD SELECTION @ London Craft Week from 3rd to 7th May 2016.

“A selection of bespoke contemporary furniture giving a glimpse into small, exceptional, yet often overlooked workshops of master craftsmen and women from across the UK. On Tuesday the designer-makers behind the exhibits gather to share the inspiration behind their work, how it was made, and why commissioning a cabinet-maker is more fulfilling than buying off the shelf”

This event is a sneak peak of 21 designer-makers, selected from the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design (CCD) Cheltenham 2016 exhibitors, which will be on display at Craft Central, Clerkenwell as part of London Craft Week.  The display will be open to the public from 12 noon – 7pm daily with a ‘Meet the Maker’ day on Tuesday 3rd May when all of the exhibitors (including me!) will be present to discuss their work. Craft Central Gallery is located at: 33-35 St John’s Square, London, EC1M 4DS.

Why not spend a whole day in London at some of the many London Craft Week events and make sure you include the CCD SELECTION exhibition in your itinerary.


The ‘Whatnot’

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My previous new creation, which was on view at the Chiltern’s Craft And Design Show in August this year, completely missed the News items.  So that it is not left out, here are a couple of pictures of the English Oak ‘Whatnot’.  For those unfamiliar with the term, a ‘Whatnot’ is a rather old fashioned name used to describe an item of furniture popular in the 18th century.  A Whatnot can be defined as ‘a piece of furniture consisting of an open stand with shelves one above another, for keeping or displaying various objects, such as ornaments, curiosities, books, etc’.  That is exactly what I have made, so it is called a ‘Whatnot’, although to be honest, I discovered the name after I’d made my piece and was looking for a better title for it than simply ‘display unit’.  18th century whatnots were generally made with slimmer, turned legs and had a lighter style compared to the one I have made, so strictly speaking it should be called a ‘Contemporary Whatnot’.

This piece makes use of solid English Oak for the legs and side rails with end grain Oak veneer for the statement back panels.  The side rails are joined to the front legs with through wedged tenons, utilising walnut for the wedges, to make a nice contrast to the Oak tenon.  This can be used to display anything which you would like to show off be they ornaments, useful objects, or those lovely large books which deserve a nice home.

Latest Creation almost complete!

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A sneak preview of my latest creation ‘Cushion on a Crate’.  This is made of alternating strips of maple wood and red coloured veneer, to provide the pin stripe effect.  The same method is used to produce a complementary effect on the side panels of the ‘crate’.  The cushion top has been hand shaped to create a piece of furniture which is comfortable to sit on, as well as providing useful storage and an attractive talking point for any room.  It is not completely finished yet, but will be on show at the Made in Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall on Sunday 13th December 2015, 10am-4pm.  Please visit me there, entry is free!


Chilterns Craft and Design Show

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It’s showtime again!  I will be exhibiting at the ICHF Chilterns Craft and Design Show, at Stonor Park, near Henley-on-Thames, 28th – 31st August.  Come along and see some of my pieces and have a good day out browsing all the other lovely things on show as well.

PAPER Arts Exhibition Pictures

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Had a great exhibition at the PAPER Arts Gallery in Bristol last month.  Lots of interest in the furniture, particularly as this gallery has never exhibited furniture before.  People were very complimentary about the pieces and in particular about the quality and the level of craftsmanship demonstrated in all the pieces, from recent graduates of the Williams and Cleal furniture school.  The gallery manger has written an interesting PAPER Arts blog post about producing out work and how we all discovered out passion for making things from wood

Exhibiting in the PAPER Arts Gallery in Bristol

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This coming week, from Tuesday 23rd – Monday 29th June, I will be exhibiting some of my pieces at the PAPER Arts gallery in the central of Bristol.  This is the second week of a two-week exhibition – the first week included pieces from Charles Byron, Maria Gomez and Lauren Goodman, all former students of the Williams and Cleal furniture school.  The second week will display pieces from Lauren Goodman and myself.  The exhibition is called ‘The Art of Making’ and highlights the art of craftsmanship in the design and making of fine furniture.  To see some of my pieces in real life, come on down to the PAPER Arts gallery, 51-53 Merchant St, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3EE, open from 10am to 6pm Mon-Sat and 11am – 5pm on Sunday.

New Designer Profile for Taylor-Wimpey

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For customers and visitors to their website, Taylor-Wimpey provide information on interior design and inspiration for making your house into the home you aspire to.  For their profiles of up-and-coming interior designers, they have chosen to profile my work as a furniture designer/maker.  Exciting for me, as this increases my exposure to those who may like to furnish their new homes with some of my pieces.

You can read the profile here.

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