This year, for the first time, I exhibited some of my furniture and home accessories at the West Bristol Arts Trail, which was held on 16th and 17th October 2021. I must admit to being a bit nervous beforehand as to whether, in these times of Covid, people would be keen to come out and visit the various venues. I needn’t have worried on that score, there was a great turnout, with a steady stream of visitors on both days of the weekend. Not so many that the hall felt uncomfortably crowded, but sufficient to retain a great atmosphere.
As one of the exhibitors in QEH (www.qehbristol.co.uk) on Jacobs Wells Road, I am extremely grateful to them for hosting us in one of their large halls upstairs in the main school building. It was perfect for an exhibition, being light and airy and roomy enough for a number of exhibitors. I think the possibility of looking inside the beautiful building, which is not normally open to the public, may have been an additional enticement for some visitors to the West Bristol Arts Trail!
Items on display from Irene Banham Furniture
It isn’t easy to transport and find space to display large items of furniture at an Arts Trail venue, so I brought along some of my smaller pieces. These served as good examples of some of the styles I can make and the high level of craftsmanship in the finished pieces.
Shown left, is an elliptical shaped solid English Oak coffee table, with cylindrical turned legs and a useful under-shelf.
Providing a lovely display to complement the oak table, are a beautiful pottery coffee pot and tumbler made by Ros of Inkblot Studio. Ros had a stand opposite mine, with some beautiful pottery and paintings, check out her website to see some of them!
I also had on display my Autumn Leaf coffee table, made of American walnut, with bronze resin leaf veins and my English Oak ‘Whatnot’ (shown right) for displaying treasured items. The Whatnot has wedged through tenons which can be see on the front edges of the uprights. These provide nice additional details to the piece, whilst retaining its clean lines and contemporary aesthetic.
In addition to the furniture, I also brought some examples of my Home Accessories, a walnut ‘All Angles’ lamp and a Cantilever Cake Stand. These are long-running favourites that I make in small batches and I try to keep at least one or two examples in stock.
The other lamp I had on show was the Fairbairn lamp. This is a one-off special lamp, that I made for an event at the Bristol Museum in 2018. It celebrates the rich industrial heritage of Bristol’s harbourside and is inspired by the innovative Fairbairn Steam Crane, one of Bristol Museums’ working exhibits and the only surviving steam powered crane of its type.
Brand new collection for the West Bristol Arts Trail
The final selection of hand made wooden items that I had on show, was a new range of accessories that I designed and made especially for the West Bristol Arts Trail. These were several small wooden air plant holders for single plants, a ‘Wall Garden’ for a selection of 4 air plants and two small waney edged shelves for plant/ornament displays.
The single air plant holders are made of either London Plane or Walnut, the ‘Wall Garden’ is a one-off piece of wildly grained wood and the shelves are made of rippled sycamore.
As of 1st Nov. 2021 I have two London Plane one walnut air plant holders and one shelf left. Please get in touch if you would like to purchase any of these. If you would like something similar to the ‘Wall Garden’, please contact me and I’ll let you know what pieces of wood are available and I can send photos to see if anything takes your fancy.
Well, the West Bristol Arts Trail is over for this year, but if you’re inspired to see work from more of the many talented artists across Bristol, there are still a couple of Arts Trails left for you to catch this year. I won’t be exhibiting at them, but you might like to try the North Bristol Arts Trail or the Totterdown Art Trail, to get your fix of local, handmade and gorgeous, arty objects and paintings.