Almost Show Time!

If you’re anywhere near Bristol or the south west of England within the next couple of months, it would be worth keeping an eye out for three furniture exhibitions. Two of these shows follow on from similar events that took place a year earlier. Sadly, due to financial reasons, I’m unable to take part this year. But, if these show are anything like what was witnessed last year then, you won’t want to miss them, if you have the opportunity to pay them a visit!

‘Inspired’The Great Oak Hall, Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury.
Thursday 26th – Tuesday 31st May 2011

More info: Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum /

‘Furnish 2’ – Paintworks Event Space, Bristol.
Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th June 2011

More info: Paintworks: What’s On / Furnish Bristol

‘Inspired’The Hayloft Gallery, Ashton Court Estate, Bristol.
Saturday 16th – Sunday 24th July 2011

More info: / Ashton Court Estate

Of course, there is also one annual show for this region that I haven’t mentioned above and that’s the acclaimed Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design in Cheltenham. But, that’s not until the end of August.

Thanks for reading.

Spot the Difference

I don’t think I ever got around to showing you any finished photographs of my curved oak cabinet before it went in to the Furnish exhibition, the other week. As a measure of how far my skills and ambitions have progressed in the last two-years, I’ve set it up alongside the ‘apprentice piece‘ sycamore cabinet that we were all required to make at the end of year one (2007-08).

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This Was ‘Furnish’

At 7pm last night, the curtains closed as the 2010 Furnish exhibition in Bristol came to an end. It’s hard to gauge at this point just how “successful” this has been for everyone involved (speaking in the sense of running a business, receiving fresh inquiries and taking commissions…). Everyone seems to have enjoyed it although, some days were quieter than others. For several (myself included), this was the first furniture exhibition we’d been involved with and there’s certainly much that we can take on board from this. All round, the quality of the work on show was excellent and it seemed to be very well received by the public, judging by the words left in the comments book.

There’s talk we could get together and repeat this event (with new pieces, of course!) again, next year – I’d certainly look forward to that!

Rather than posting them all here, it would be easier for me to direct you to my Flickr album, where I’ve uploaded my own low-quality shots of some of the pieces (unfortunately, I had to delete a few because they were even more blurry than some of the ones you’ll see there! :oops:). Bear with me and I’ll have a brief description for each photo, detailing who the maker is.

(Feel free to comment on any of it; here or there.)

Simon’s also organised another Flickr account for everyone to upload their own photos of the event in to the same place – it’s fair to say that those with better cameras and a little know-how have done a better job at capturing our work than I have! Have a little patience and hopefully this album will be full with a week. Click here to see it.

Now, I’m looking forward to ‘Inspired‘ (at the Ashton Court Estate, Bristol). We set up on Friday morning, ready to open Saturday morning. It’ll be interesting to see how this one compares (I know Sue has done this sort of thing before) and how it differs to the ‘Furnish‘ exhibition. I’m sure they’ll be something we can all take in and, with the show covering two weekends, I can’t think of any reason why the good (and wealthy! :-D) people of Bristol won’t be able to attend!

Thanks for looking.

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…

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Time to Turn?

My first exhibition (Furnish, at Paintworks) opens exactly one week from now and, right now, when I’m not doing any payed work, I’m spending all my free time trying to get my other pieces polished and ready (hence the lack of action on this blog, recently). About two-months ago, I “completed” a contrasting curved-fronted cabinet in ‘white’ and brown oak. In actual fact, it’s still awaiting a final coat of wax and two knobs or pulls that’ll allow someone to actually open the door and drawer with ease… This is why the piece has remained unfinished, until now.

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Holy Cramp, Batman!

Just in time for the half-term break, I got my arm chair all glued up at college. It’s quite a relief to finally reach this stage of this build in particular! Even though, I still have a bit of sanding and tidying up to do. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have had enough cramps, had I decided to do this one in my own workshop…

Do you think there are enough sash cramps?!

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Carving for Comfort

Two travishers; one seat.

This week at college, I’ve managed to get the English walnut seat carved out to a comfortable formation for my own bottom. While I spent the best part of both days (thirteen hours) on this, including endless amounts of sanding and applying a coat of oil, I have to say, carving a chair seat isn’t complicated at all. There are a few basic guidelines for getting started, that you may come across in a couple of woodworking books but, the most important thing is to check it regularly (literally – sitting down on the job!) and work evenly on both sides. I also borrowed a couple a travishers for this task as it’s really all you need for something like this.

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Tea Tray

Another day and another piece is ready for the Furnish exhibition in July! 8) It’s a tea or ‘serving’ tray made from a contrasting combination of brown oak and regular English oak. Sides are angled or ‘canted’ at 20° and, while it may look deceptively tricky to do; trust me – with a sharp blade and a half decent saw, a simple frame with compound mitres like this is a doddle to cut! Gluing it up, however – not so easy!

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