Finally, after a few months of procrastination, I have succeeded in updating the gallery pages of my website, with some new pieces. The “Derwen” table was completed in May 2009 for clients in Denbigh, Wales, for their new home. The oak for the table was sourced on the Gower peninsula and as a result the name of the table, which means “oak” in Welsh is particularly appropriate. The top is elliptical which means it has the benefit of a long rectangular table, in terms of fitting in a slightly narrower room, but the intimacy of a round table. Again, the pedestal base designs means that everyone (all 8 people!), can sit comfortably around the table without bashing their knees against awkward table legs.
The Derwen table is made from solid oak and also sits well with my Exmouth chair designs, which can also be seen on the same page. These designs came about after the success of the Exmouth table and requests from several clients for chairs to accompany the table. The designs I came up with seek to achieve three main goals: design; practicality; and cost. It is very hard to find bespoke handcrafted chairs (i.e. not factory produced) that cost less than £600 each, and that are both pleasing on the eye and comfortable. Many “designer” chairs these days seem to be either plain ugly, impractical or both. It was with practicality in mind that I came to realise that some clients have small children who are fairly handing with forks and ketchup. Therefore, the need to have a more robust solid chair, while still incorporating a design element, was the idea behind the Exmouth kitchen chair.
The Exmouth dining chair on the other hand, aims to satisfy the demand for a more refined alternative – a chair for fine dining. These chairs are very similar to the kitchen chairs, but are traditionally upholstered.
One of my favourite pieces to date is the pair of “Coopers” whisky cabinets I completed in May 2009 and which were recently exhibited at the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey, Devon, and the prestige furniture exhibition “Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design” held at the Thirlestaine Long Gallery in Cheltenham, in August. I was lucky enough to be offered the use of an empty gallery space to take pictures of these, and the natural light used to take the photographs plays beautifully with the textures of the wood itself and the fluted and coopered details. The doors shut on magnets, which means there is a lovely gentle pull and satisfying “thud” when the doors are closed.