FURNISH, Bristol – 8th-13th July 2010

This evening (or, late-afternoon, if you prefer…), the FURNISH Exhibition kicks off in Bristol. A few of us began setting up yesterday, without everyone else arriving around midday today. I had to unload my pieces in two trips, partly because my chair and the curved cabinet were both awaiting a final coat of polish! So, I’ve been in and got my space set up. As of 6pm, the punters will start rolling in…

This first photo, above, is basically what people will see of my stand when they first walk in to the exhibition space. You probably can’t see it in these photos but, there is a spotlight illuminating this angle in a space that’s otherwise quite dark (the strip lights are also off at this point though, it is sunny outside…). As you get closer to the chair (looking at it face-on), the light begins to dance over the undulations of the hand-carved seat. 8)

I owe my dad some thanks for adding all the vinyl lettering, which does detract from some of the fingerprints and shoddy painting I’ve done on these 12mm MDF display plinths! Others seem to agree that it was a good decision (I hate it when he’s right…).

I’m less concerned about these two smaller pieces, which is why they’re almost in the dark. It’s the drop-leaf table and arm chair that I really want people to see (also, there’s only one light available for each person ~ …plus one spare).

This is why I’ve been so quiet of late – my chair was marked at college last week and I was only able to bring it home on Monday afternoon. There was still a bit of shaping and sanding to be done but, I did manage to get two good coats of oil on there, which really bought out the walnut in the seat.

In the end, I used some epoxy resin (Araldite, in fact) to fill these knots; colouring them in with a 50g cement-dye sample bag from eBay [only £1 each, inc. free p&p! 😉 ].

Last year, while I was oiling the drop-leaf table, I did notice these markings in the finish, left over from a forsaken non-slip rubber mat – that’s why I now prefer Bench Cookies! I gave it a good de-nibbing on Tuesday and it seemed to have disappeared, ready for a fresh coat of oil. Actually, while mentioning the Cookies for second there, I noticed recently that Axminster are now competing in this market with their own version; the Bench Blocks. A good £2 cheaper, too (minus the postage costs)! I’d like to get hold of a set of these at some point and see how they compare with Rockler’s version…

...Why I hate rubber sanding mats!

One final addition to the curved cabinet (along with the door knob and drawer pull – which I’ve forgotten to photograph!) was this simple ‘shop-made magnetic catch. I got the idea from Chris Tribe’s post on UKworkshop. A rare earth magnet is set in to the back of the closing door stile and the small oak block in the picture below is fixed to the underside of the top. You can set it back a couple of millimetres and then used the steel screw (brass isn’t magnetic) to adjust the ‘stop’ to its correct position.

It works very well, even though the door has distorted, slightly.

Oh, and that other hole is where my initial attempt was – that’s where the screw was fixed, while the magnet was set in to the top edge of the door rail. For some reason, it just wasn’t as effective and, if I set the screw too far out, it would scratch across the grain of the oak.

That’s about all I have to say at the minute. I might see if I can do a couple of “overall” shots of the exhibition space, once everyone is set up and ready to go (and, all the lights are on!).

If you’re in the Bristol area at all, the show opens at 6pm this evening (despite what the flyers say!!!) and closes at 10pm. Then, it’s open every day, 11am-7pm (10am-6pm weekends)  up to and including Tuesday 13th. All are welcome with no obligation to buy or commission anything! 😉 Parking and entry and both free.

Thanks for looking.

2 thoughts on “FURNISH, Bristol – 8th-13th July 2010

  1. Olly – I’m really impressed with how you have presented the pieces, the plinths with vinyl lettering look great, and really show off your pieces well – which look fantastic by the way. I hadn’t seen your table before, but it looks stunning.

    I hope it all goes well for you and you get some commissions out of all your hardwork.

    1. Thanks, Colin.

      A good opening evening, I think (just got back a short while ago). Gave away plenty of business cards and spoke to a few people. In truth, a lot of the people I spoke to were woodworkers, former students and full-time cabinet makers but, for someone as unsociable as I am (!!), it builds confidence and all that. 😉

      My drop-leaf table went down really well, as did the chair, where a few people decided to jump on and try it for themselves without asking! …Which I don’t really have a problem with. Except, I’d rather they’d do it with the chair flat on the floor instead of the 12mm MDF plinth… 😛

      Someone did ask whether the drop-leaf table could be made bigger – so, fingers crossed on that one!!

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