He who works with his hands is a labourer
He who works with his hands and his head is an artist
He who works with his hands, his head
and his heart is an artisan
(St Francis of Assisi)
Why settle for second best when you can have furniture
designed and made
to suit your needs.
The following images are examples of bespoke pieces.
Bookcase with concealed door:
19 years ago I was involved with the restoration of the woodwork in Stoke Hall, East Stoke, which consisted of Oak doors, paneling, staircase, window shutters and bookcase's.
5 years later the client wanted a Mahogany breakfront bookcase built into an alcove in another house.
I recieved a phone call from the client asking if I could make them another Mahogany bookcase to match the last one in the same room but in the style of the one in Stoke Hall i.e. with a concealed door!
The following photographs show the final stages of the building and installing of the bookcase.
The alcove where the bookcase was to be fitted was 6' wide and 6'8" high with a boxed in beam.
Having made the main body of the bookcase in the workshop and after many visits to check the measurements the day came for fitting to begin.
Only after agreeing to make the bookcase did I remember the complicated cornice, this would mean digging out the moulding planes and hand making an eight foot length of it.
Ready for the first mop coats of french polish, there will 6 - 8 coats in all before using the rubber to add the last few coats.
Not a good photograph but shelves are in and ready for the books.
Finished at last, wax polished, brass work is on and books fitted/loaded.
The concealed door is no longer a secret!
The hardest part of making this bookcase was sourcing the timber, the client wanted it making in old Mahogany.
They supplied 2 Victorian Pembroke's, in total 3 Pembroke tables and half a Victorian wardrobe went into this piece.
I can only hope that the God/spirit of Antique Furniture will forgive me!
Made from English Yew and Sweet Chestnut, this crib was design and made for our first granchild.
The rockers are cut in such a way that the crib will only tilt so far and not roll over.
The Yew used is from the same tree as the headboard for the bedframe in the photos below.
Made to celebrate the marriage of my eldest son, the head board of the bed is made from a single plank of English Yew cut from a tree grown in the grounds of Nottingham University the other timber used is Sweet Chestnut cut from a tree grown in Sherwood Forest.
The curve of the footboard follows the original line of the bark but as the bark of the Sweet Chestnut tree is rough it would have been unsuitable to be left it in place.
I was commissioned to make wooden posts and rails for a new office setup in an existing building, the posts were to be 120mm square and either 2m long or 1.7m.
It's not possible to buy timber for internal use in that section and for it to remain stable, therefore the posts had to be constructed as a box section using Steamed Beech (customer supplied the timber).
The posts had a stopped moulding on the corners with a channel in the centre to take 10mm thick glass.
The rails between the posts and the post caps were made from the same timber with a similar moulding to the edges.
Once in place the bottom section had studded between each post to hide cables and pipework, this meant the posts had to be drilled to pass it all through. There will be glass panels fitted above.
Once fitted the timber was polished using a clear shelac polish & bees wax polish.
2011 was a bumper year for fruit crops and so rather than waste the crop of one customer's fruit trees I decided to design and make my own fruit press.
The wood used is Sweet Chestnut supplied by Forest 2 Furniture, the frame has been treated with linseed oil and a fresh coat is added after each time the press is washed down.
Made from Western Red Cedar this Greenhouse measures 10 feet long and 8 feet wide, it has two opening skylights controlled via auto-vents and one louvered window. It has raised panels to the bottom with all rails and stiles both internal & external are moulded.
Although Western Red Cedar has it's own preservative and therefore does not need treating, to help keep it's colour several coats of Danish Oil were applied.