Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show – May 2015

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Just back from the Weald of Kent Craft and Design Show in the grounds of Penshurst Place, 2-4th May.  My stand was located in the Graduate Marquee, an area which is dedicated to showing the work of new Designer/Makers in the formative years of their careers.  I was delighted to be selected by the “Informed Design” group, to show my work in this marquee, amongst other great designer/makers from a  variety of disciplines.  We had a successful show and a large number of visitors on all three days, who were very complimentary about the pieces on show.

My latest project, ‘The Tree Revealed” Televison Table, was finished in time for the show and had its first public airing. It went down very well and many people loved the look of the end grain oak on the cabinet door, making it look like a slice through a tree trunk.  See Portfolio page for more pictures of the TV Table.

My next show will be the Chilterns Craft and Design Show at Stonor Park, Henley-on-thames, 28th-31st august. Hopefully I will have something new to exhibit at the next event too – come and see me there!



“The Tree Revealed” – Television Table now completed

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My latest project, “The Tree Revealed” Television Table, is now complete!  It is made of English Oak with end grain oak veneer on the face of the drop-down door.  Inside the cabinet is space for items associated with TV watching (Sky Box, DVD player etc).  There is an open back to the cabinet to allow cables to pass through without hindrance.  Brass hinges and a brass cabinet pull, with brass and leather stays, complete the piece.  Further pictures can be found on the Portfolio page.



Latest project taking shape

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First ‘Proper’ glue-up in the new workshop!  Two halves of the television table top.


Template of the proposed shape of the table top.


Final glue-up of the table base.  Quite fiddly but successful in the end.


Its been a while since the last news item, but that’s because I’ve been very busy getting settled in at the new workshop and creating my latest project, a television table in English Oak.  The table will have an elliptical shaped top and underneath the table top, an enclosed area in which to put the boxes and other gadgets associated with TV watching.  The front door of the enclosure will be veneered in end grain oak, which provides a beautiful pattern across the face of the door.  All will be revealed when it is completed!  In the meantime, above are some ‘in-progress’ photographs.

New Workshop!

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pic of mivart street

Just before Christmas (2014) my allotted time in Williams and Cleal workshops came to an end and it was time to move on, to a place of my own.  I have now moved into new workshop premises in the Easton area of Bristol.  A busy and colourful part of the city with plenty of local shops, houses and businesses.  A far cry from the previous workshop in the Somerset countryside, with pheasants outside the window and cows in the field.  However, it is much nearer my home (major plus point), there are places nearby to buy any kind of snack you could wish for if hunger strikes and the workshop is very light and spacious.  The workshop address is on my contact page, but visits by appointment only please – we are not really set up for receiving casual visitors!

Walnut Chest of Drawers Completed

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Finally completed the small walnut chest of drawers just prior to the Christmas deadline. The drawers were a gift and therefore ideally needed to be completed for presenting at Christmas. Pictures of the piece are now included in my portfolio so more detail can be perused there. The drawers were well received and look good in their new surroundings. The many dovetails were a challenge to patience, but worth it in the end!

Progress with the Latest Project

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After a month away from the workshop, the set of drawers is progressing once again.  A ‘short’ project with some challenging aspects, such as curved sides, which have added to the overall timescale.  This is a photograph of handle cut-outs applied to the drawer fronts to check on the final position of handles on each front.  The scoops and grooves for the handles have now been cut and next week I look forward to dovetailing a set of four drawers!

Next Project Underway

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Now that the New Designers Exhibition and the New Forest Show are finished and the Chief’s Chair has had a good outing, I have been able to get on with a new project.  This one is a small set of drawers, featuring curved sides, with grooves cut in.   So far I have made a former and laminated the curved sides, also fitting in cherry stringing.  The piece is predominantly of walnut, but there will be contrasting cherry inside the grooves on the side panels and cherry handles on the drawers.  This project was a late addition to my plans, as I was unable to quickly obtain the necessary timber for a bureau I have designed and which I now intend to make after the drawers.

New Forest Show – Second Place!

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New Forest Show 2014 - 3

New Forest Show 2014 - 1

A very enjoyable and fruitful time at the New Forest Show.  Happily for me, my Chief’s Chair gained me second place in the overall (design and making combined) class in the New Forest Trust competition.  The furniture was all very well received at the show and there were hundreds of people that passed through the furniture exhibition over the three days of the show.  So, a good place to meet people and to talk to them about my furniture.  Thanks to the New Forest Trust for running such a worthwhile event for student furniture makers and designers.

New Forest Show 2014 – NF Trust Fine Furniture Exhibition

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Off to the New Forest for the next 4 days.  My Chief’s Chair is entered into the Fine Crafted Furniture Competition, run by the New Forest Trust.  This is a competition for furniture school students and all the furniture entered is exhibited in the New Forest Pavilion at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show.  The show runs from 29th to 31st July, so come down and take a look if you’re in the area!  In addition to the student pieces, furniture from established furniture designers/makers will also be on show.

Exhibition News – New Designers 2014

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New Designers 2014 - IB Pieces

New Designers 2014 - IB Pieces

A couple of photographs of my pieces on the Williams and Cleal stand at New Designers 2014.  A good exhibition with lots of interesting things going on.  It was rewarding to have many exhibition visitors say how much they liked and were impressed by the furniture on our stand.  The Cantilever Cake Stand generated some interest, although maybe it was more about the cup cakes than the cake stand itself!

New Designers 2014

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New Designers 2014Tommorrow I’m off to London for New Designers 2014 – ‘The exhibition for emerging design’.  Very exciting, as this will be my first exhibition.  There will be around 8 students of Williams and Cleal exhibiting together on a furniture school stand, so plenty of interesting pieces to see.  I will be taking my Chief’s Chair and Cantilever Cake Stand as primary exhibits and the List Lover’s Box will also be getting an outing.

Cantilever Cake Stand Completed

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Cantilever Cake Stand


This Cantilever Cake Stand design arose from an exercise to design a small project which could be produced in small batches and sold as a small aside to major bespoke furniture commissions.  I decided to make just two cake stands, as examples of the design, to take to the New Designers exhibition next week.  The first two cake stands were completed on Friday and are now oiled and ready for display at the exhibition.  The Cantilever Cake Stand will be added to my portfolio, with more pictures soon.  In the meantime, I need to make some cakes to add some colour to the exhibition display!

Steam Bending Chief’s Chair Leg

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This is really an historic item, but I wanted to include this steam bending video on my site as it was such a great day when this worked!  The back leg of the Chief’s Chair is made from a 60mm x 40mm section of Ash which has been steam bent into a curve.  The section is quite large, so there was a good chance that the steam bending would not work first time.  Fortunately for me it did!  This video shows the actual bending of the Ash leg, immediately after it has been removed from the steam box, in which it had been left for around 2 hours.  Thanks to my fellow students for assisting with the bending, although those pushing the leg around into a curve said that it went around really easily, with hardly any effort.

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