Saturday, 1 April 2017

Victorian Horsehoe-back Armchair

A fine Victorian horseshoe back chair with raised support reupholstered in Ramshead fabric by Bute


What a beauty this one is - the fabric, designed for Bute Fabrics by Timorous Beasties is 85% wool and 15% nylon which gives it a silky sheen and lustre somehow similar to velvet so it works terrifically on this era of furniture that is traditionally done in velvet or silk. It's somehow contemporary and traditional at the same time, don't ask me how they managed that.

 

This came in as a pre-stripped frame that had been taken apart and put back together by local cabinet maker Jonathan Garrard who I would heartily recommend - the woodwork is exceptional.


So this was upholstered using traditional methods with coir and horsehair although I was spared stitching a rolled edge to the seat as it came fitted with a curved wooden support with a leather stitched edge - I'm not sure that was original but it gave a lovely crisp finish.

Unlike most chairs of this type, this is not simply ornamental - my very happy customer sits on this all the time so she was delighted to get it back after its long arduous transformation. And she has it back in time for her birthday, I know this because she told me she's double-delighted with the Ram's heads because she was born under the constellation of Aries.




Sheeptastic.




This was a commission.


Welsh Vernacular bench in two-tone tweed by Bute


A bespoke bench from our Welsh Vernacular range in Bute tweed.



This is a whopping 140 x 40 x 40 cm bench in oak made to order in our workshop using solid oak planks (joined and reinforced) with spoke shaved 'wedged' legs in the traditional style of Welsh vernacular or farm furniture.



The upholstery is entirely hand stitched to a piped edge, a traditional but largely forgotten method.



We can make these to your specified dimensions and upholster in any wool fabric of your choosing.

Lucky you eh?

Bus Stop Chair at Llansawel


This chair now available to bus travellers on the B4337 at Llansawel, Carmarthenshire.



But the amazing thing is that they'll find an acrylic painting OF THE BUS SHELTER actually ON THE BACK OF THE CHAIR





And the view from the bus shelter on the seat of the chair. Paintings courtesy of the terrific and wonderful Julie Ann Sheridan to whom I am also married.

Imagine finding this, would that make you happy or what?

Pair of wingback armchairs in Bute tweed


A pair of 1950's wingback armchairs reupholstered in Bute tweed


I love these. Dark brown is such a classy colour, particularly this tweed by Bute with its two-colour threads and odd flecks.



And once again it's those wingback chairs that reupholster so well. Try to find anything like this in the shops and you'll fail, well you might find cheap versions in badly matched 'check' fabric but you won't get anything like these. You'll get them at an auction though...



What are you waiting for? Go and see you local upholsterer now.

This was a commission



Wingback Armchair in Welsh Wool


A 1990's wingback armchair reupholstered in Melin Tregwynt Elements Smoke 100% wool fabric.


Despite its dainty legs, there's definitely something elephantine about this don't you think? It's those Edwardian style wings isn't it? Indian elephant ears - or Ganesha even.



Great new fabric from Melin Tregwynt, first time I've used it and it works really well on this, I'll be getting more commissions in this I'm sure.



Very smart don't you think?

This was a commission.

Green armchair with Melin Tregwynt cushion


A green vinyl armchair with a new seat cushion in Melin Tregwynt wool


This chair came in for a new seat cushion and to mend a tear on the right arm. We tried to insert an invisible patch but the vinyl was too old and hard so it looked like a big angry scar and certainly wouldn't do. I decided I'd have a go at using the vinyl from the existing cushion to reupholster the arm. As the vinyl was pretty hard I only just managed it, and getting the upholstery nails back in the same holes in both the vinyl and the frame took AGES. But it worked in the end - very satisfying.



The cushion is a great addition too eh? Something about the Welsh wool works very well with old leather/vinyl.

This was a commission.

Side chair in Camira wool fabric


A 19th Century oak side chair reupholstered in Frenzy by Camira



It ain't easy to line up skinny stripes, particularly when the fabric is so thin - I'd call this 95% successful...


People often say 'you must be a perfectionist' and I take this as a compliment because they really mean 'your work is neat', but I'm not a perfectionist at all. I think things you make with your hands should be as perfect as you can get them without letting the process of getting things right annoy you, so '95% straight' sometimes has to be good enough.

And this chair is definitely good enough. But that white stripe on the corner? It ain't straight.

This was a commission.




Monday, 13 February 2017

Parker Knoll Armchair in Camira wool fabric


A Parker Knoll 1071 armchair reupholstered in a teal wool mix fabric by Camira (of Yorkshire).



Super-stylish but with proper back support, you'll look cool in this from your twenties right through to your nineties and your chiropractor will approve.


Look at that sculptural back and imagine what it's doing for your back. No scoliosis, spondylosis or stenosis for you, no way sis.



So sit up straight and don't be no slouch,
And move aside that slumping old couch,
Buy this chair for which I can vouch,
That when you get old you won't have to crouch,
And become a stooping and grumpy old grouch,
Forever emitting that familiar 'ouch',
From the contorted strain on your stricken cheek pouch,
Caused by your vertebrae rubbing together because you didn't look after your posture when you had the chance like.


Stylish preventative medicine for just £400 all in.

Can't say fairer than that.

This chair is for sale.

Long Footstool


A bespoke long footstool from our Vernacular Range upholstered in Melin Tregwynt 100% wool.



Made from solid oak and upholstered using the age-old method of hand stitching to a piped edge this is a genuine one-off bespoke item.



The legs are spoke-shaved and wedged by hand and the underside has a nice champfer.




And if you need a couple of cushions for the sofa to complete the look, well look no further.

Available in a variety of British wool fabrics and made to your dimensions and specifications, can't say fairer than that now can you?

This was a commission.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Art Deco Corner Chairs in Melin Tregwynt wool


A pair of Art Deco corner chairs reupholstered in Melin Tregwynt Nexus Ash 100% wool.


These ebonised chairs are so busy in style, with so many curves, angles, splndles, etc that I was surprised how good the new Nexus fabric from Melin Tregwynt looked on the when the customer was making a choice.


I would have been sure that a plain fabric would suit best but it really didn't work as well as this.


I think it's how well the geometry works with the angles.


And the curves.



Who would have thought it eh?


This was a commission.





Victorian Iron-back chair in Bute tweed


A Victorian iron-back chair reupholstered in Bute tweed.



Shallow-buttoned in a multi-coloured weave - it looks like a smart blue but close up you can see three coloured threads. Total class if you ask me.

This was a commission.

Parker Knoll Armchair in Melin Tregwynt wool


A 1980's Parker Knoll 1071 armchair reupholstered in Melin Tregwynt 100% wool.


These chairs look more 1970s than 1980s but that's often the case with furniture - it takes a decade for the public to catch on and for the larger manufacturers to start producing 'new' styles.


Regardless of age though, these look pretty great in the new 'spots' don't you think?


And look at the back, if I owned this I'd put it in the middle of a room. It's what I'd call, you know, sculptural. Innit.

This was a commission



Monday, 28 November 2016

Mountain Bothy Mattress


A roll-up mattress now available to anyone getting caught in a storm at Llyn y Fan Fach.

It's made from a length of deckchair fabric I was kindly given by Liliwen Herbs.


It's quite a long way up


So I made one that can be rolled up


You know, for easy installation


 If you do use it, I suggest you go for this end of the bench near the fire


Bring your own sleeping bag though eh?


An antimaccasar for the 21st Century


I was asked to make some 'head cushions' for a couple of recent commissions to add confort and protect the backs of the chairs from greasy headed visitors. Here's one of them:



And here's a particularly daft photo of them on the studio floor:


They have weighted straps as a counterbalance so they don't slip and are quite ingenious. I was asked to make them based on this one by Robin Day/Margaret Howell, so a very 'modern' influence:


So they're nice and compliment the furniture well.

But it got me thinking about the Victorian equivalent, the antimacassar:



There's something genuinely funny about these I think. It seems to me they're deliberately at odds with the chair fabric to resolutely draw attention to how dirty we are. Like a big sign saying "LOOK - I'VE GOT GREASY HAIR." or maybe "I'M SO DIRTY I CANT EVEN SIT IN MY ARMCHAIR WITHOUT RUINING IT."

And they're always ghastly - a quick image search throws some truly astonishing horrors:





AAAAAAGH.

They're called antimacassar in opposition to the Macassar Oil popular among Victorians due to its excellent unguence. Byron apparently called it 'thine incomparable oil' and I can well imagine Victorian grandmothers getting very uptight when he came round and sat on their sofa.




Presumably by the 1950's Brylcreem had taken over and I can well imagine my own grandmother switching to her second grade antimacassars when my dad came round. Maybe they were known as 'antibrylcreemers' at this point.

In recent times we have been far less oily with our hairstyles (the Wet-Look interlude notwithstanding) so have been able to dispense with these chair horrors. But what with the rise in 'artisan barbering' or whatever it's called and these bearded, manicured, moustachioed types
harking back to all things 19th Century, you never know.

If they do come back into fashion, please make sure you have smart, neat ones like the ones I have made above and I'll be very happy to make them for you. Ask for one in a contrasting fabric or different accent colour and, well, I'll kill you.

Be warned.

Oak Dining Chairs


Set of six oak dining chairs reupholstered in Bute Ramshead fabric.


It's not easy to photograph six dining chairs so here's some artistic shots to give you the general idea.




Maybe you'll want to do yours up now..?
This was a commission.