Two Oak Chests with Engraved Pewter Inlay

Here’s a whimsical sort of thing I’ve been making in between some bigger jobs.  It’s a simple chest in a contemporary Arts and Crafts style, with some inlaid pewter foliage as a finishing touch.  It is designed to provide a seat as well as storage.  I made two of these chests; one is already spoken for, but the other is for sale.  If you are interested, please contact us.


An Oak Dresser

Here is a contemporary oak dresser which is now finished and ready to be delivered to the clients.  The bottom half is for storage, and above it is a display space.


Handmade Glass

I’ve been thinking about glass in the last few days, as I’ve making some glazed doors for a dresser.  There are different types of glass available, and whether thinking about re-glazing a whole house, or just making a small piece of furniture, it’s worth taking the trouble to get it right.

Almost all glass sheet produced at the moment is ‘float glass’, which is made by literally floating the glass on a bed of molten tin.  It’s a fast and practical way to produce glass which is cheap, convenient — and soul-less.  It’s amazing the extent to which re-glazing an old building with modern glass will spoil its character.  Float glass has none of the subtle waviness which is a natural feature of handmade glass.  Old-fashioned glass has a sense of life to it – it has a friendly quality which is lacking in the cold perfection of float glass.  Handmade glass adds character to a piece of furniture or to the exterior of a home, and gently modulates the light which passes it it making for a more restful feeling indoors.


Wooden Board Bookbinding

We have just finished a joint project with Otter Bookbinding. We combined skills to bind a copy of The St Brides Notebook (printed by the Incline Press).  The binding is based on Coptic techniques.  The boards are of quarter sawn brown oak with a shellac finish. They are link stitched onto leather thongs.  We are pleased with how it has turned out, so hopefully we will be doing more of this sort of work in future.


Traditional Crafts in the UK

There’s very little official support in the UK for our native craft traditions. Government money is available to craftspeople through the Crafts Council but this is aimed almost entirely at practitioners who work in a modern idiom, and is heavily weighted towards conceptual, craft-as-art, type of work. As a result of this neglect many traditional crafts are on the verge of extinction.

Robin wood, who I interviewed a while ago here, recently got in touch to let me know about a new venture. He is exploring the possibility of setting up a charitable trust to champion and support the traditional crafts in Britain.

Below is a picture of Mike Turnock, the last riddle maker in the UK. The business is viable, but without the means to employ an apprentice, the craft will die when Mike retires. This is the sort of situation which Robin hopes the new trust will be able to help with.

If you want to know more you can contact Robin by email at robin@robin-wood.co.uk, and there is more information on his blog here.

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