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Archive for the ‘Dorset Art Weeks’ Category

‘Making Dorset’ – 50 Dorset Makers

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

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Woodcut by Robin Mackenzie, printmaker

Fifty of Dorset’s best designer-makers will be exhibiting together in the historic Wolfeton Riding House venue near Dorchester over the first weekend in July 2017. ‘Making Dorset’ is also the launch event for the accompanying book celebrating the same 50 artists and craftspeople called ’50 Dorset Makers’.

STP JB MDThe event has been a long-term aspiration of Dorset Visual Arts (organisers of the bi-enniel Dorset Art Weeks.) They have teamed up with Evolver Magazine who are publishing the book and of course the makers themselves who have been pushing for a high-quality selected event in the county for a long time.

The final selection, made by Professor Simon Olding of the Crafts Study Centre and Simon Barber of Evolver Magazine is a mix of well known names, makers at the start of their professional careers and established craftspeople who have not exhibited at this kind of event at all. The broad range of work will span traditional crafts to very contemporary practice; all the major disciplines will be represented from musical instrument making to ceramics, printmaking to jewellery and of course furniture making which has always been strong in the county.

So as well as ourselves, John Makepeace, Petter Southall (iTre), Karen Hansen, Jack Draper, Alice Blogg and David Saltmarsh (Fivepenny Chairs) will all be exhibiting furniture. The lovely thing about this group is all of us approach our designing and making in very different ways with contrasting results. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all together and trying to understand if there are any common strands that make the work a result of our common location – Dorset. Or not!

The venue for Making Dorset is Wolfeton Riding House at Charminster, just outside Dorchester. This rare 16th Century riding school is an important historical building which has been renovated by the Wolfeton Riding House Trust over the past two decades with support from English Heritage among others. Part of their remit in return for this funding is to open the building up to the public through cultural events like Making Dorset. For more information about the building and the Trust click here.

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Wolfeton Riding House exterior and interior following extensive renovation by the Wolfeton Riding House Trust

Making Dorset is a celebration of the best of design, making and craft, a high quality curated show with exquisitely made objects selected by experts. But it is also a book launch for 50 Dorset Makers (it’s sister book ’50 Wessex Artists’ was published in 2006) and is part of a series of events to celebrate of the 100th edition of Evolver Magazine. It’s hard to underestimate how important this bi-monthly arts culture and listings magazine has become to the South West arts community since it first appeared in 2001, for which Simon Barber, its founder and editor deserves huge gratitude. So we are really looking forward to taking part and being involved on all sorts of levels.

50 Dorset Makers Cover
The cover of ’50 Dorset Makers’ supporting Making Dorset, published by Evolver Magazine

‘Making Dorset’ is not just a one-off; Dorset Visual Arts are planning other events in the future and hope it will become a recognised brand of excellence in the world of craft, design and making, both within Dorset and beyond.

We will have a number of pieces there, we are still working on the final list but one of our stunning burr ash and ripple sycamore drinks cabinets is a definite. We are also providing a pair of English walnut glazed and lit display cabinets that other makers of jewellery and silverware will be able to use to display their work in. From our perspective the furniture is enhanced by having other high quality objects in and around it so we are very comfortable with this. John and I plan to be there over the weekend and are looking forward to catching up with familiar faces and meeting plenty of new ones.

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Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to see the very best of British craftsmanship in a building which is a little known jewel in Dorset’s history. It will be a good day out.

Making Dorset is open to the public on Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July from 10am till 5pm.

The Making Dorset event opening and 50 Dorset Makers book launch is on the evening of Friday 30 June. Please contact us or Dorset Visual Arts directly for further details.

Show Time!

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

It’s May and it’s our busy time of year for shows both in London & Dorset, both indoors and out in the open…

‘Down Memory Lane’

30 Years of Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne. 19th March until 22nd May.

Down_Memory_Lane_Invite_front40 makers with strong links to the Mill celebrating its 30 years of consistent promotion of high quality crafts both locally and nationally. Makers include John Makepeace, Matthew Burt, Alan Wallwork, Frances Hatch and many more.

I was involved at board level for many years at Walford Mill, chairing the board it for two periods over a decade. I’ve also taken part in shows at the Mill since 1998 and even co-curated a furniture show there with Christine Fletcher-Jones in 2009. It’s a long standing relationship which I’m proud to be associated with!

Our stunning walnut & burr walnut drinks cabinet is being exhibited during ‘Down Memory Lane’.

For more details and opening times please visit the Walford Mill Crafts website.

‘Inspired 2016’

Part of British Silver Week, Goldsmiths Centre, Clerkenwell, London. 9th May until 14th May

Inspired 2015 ‘Inspired 2016’ is the fourth collaborative selling exhibition between the Festival of Silver, the Furniture Makers’ Company and John Higgins Contemporary Silver. The Goldsmiths’ Centre will once again host this impressive exhibition of the UK’s finest silversmiths and bespoke furniture makers.

On display will be the work of 80 of the finest UK silversmiths, including Rod Kelly and Hiroshi Suzuki, as well as the monumental work of Thalen & Thalen from Belgium and the innovative silversmithing of Lasse Baerhing from Denmark. Also showing will be 15 of the UK’s finest bespoke furniture makers including world renowned John Makepeace; and other prominent holders of the Furniture Makers’ Company’s prestigious bespoke Guild Mark, awarded for excellence in design and craftsmanship.

We will be exhibiting a pair of our stunning pivot drawer console tables, this time in native ash. It’s our second appearance at Inspired, the above image showing our ‘Ascot Display Cabinets’ in the background behind a striking Waywood dining table.

For more information about Inspired including opening times click here.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Sitting Spiritually

Royal Chelsea Hospital, London. 24th May until 28th May 2016
Floating Green

It’s the build up to Chelsea Flower Show and our collaboration with Sitting Spiritually on garden swing seats and benches sees the Simon Thomas Pirie Contemporary Range officially launched at RHS Chelsea this year. The new Yakisugi Swing Seat and Floating Bench will be on the Sitting Spiritually stand (RHW369), with the Floating Bench also featured on the ‘RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year’ finalists stand.

And we have just had more exciting news with the confirmation that the Yakisugi Swing Seat will be featured in the Jardin Blanc at Chelsea Flower Show. Jardin Blanc is the exclusive restaurant and hospitality area run by Raymond Blanc at the heart of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show experience.

It has been a great start to the launch with lots of press attention, we have already been featured in the Sunday Times Homes supplement, The RHS Magazine, Woman and Home, Society of Garden Designers Magazine and Gardens Illustrated. We all can’t wait to see what the public reaction will be like during Chelsea.

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Make sure you visit Martin Young and the team from Sitting Spiritually who will be there throughout the show on stand RHW369, we will be joining them on the 24th for a Chelsea ‘day out’. Can’t wait to sup up some of this prestigious event’s atmosphere.

For more details about Chelsea Flower Show opening times and how to get there click here.

For more detail about the Sitting Spiritually / Simon Thomas Pirie Contemporary Range visit the Sitting Spiritually website.

Dorset Art Weeks 2016

The Courtyard Workshop, Briantspuddle, Dorset. 28th May until 12th June

PV at 45 copyProbably the greatest free festival of artists and makers in the UK. This year we are one of 300 studios and workshops opening their doors to the public for all 16 days of DAW 2016. Joining us at the Courtyard Gallery & Workshop are the painter Frank Finn and the silversmith Karina Gill, both very highly regarded artists in their own fields.

We are also very lucky to be right next door to the talented acrylic & watercolour artist Marilyn Allis whose studio (venue 47) is also open during DAW.

 

 

More About our Guest Artists
4. KarinaGill

Karina Gill’s striking etched metal bowls and jewellery are influenced by colour, texture and repetition. Her organic and geometric forms are hammered and manipulated by hand in silver, steel, copper and brass. Karina has expanded her range in silver, working on much larger scale sculptural bowls for interiors. Karina’s work is the perfect visual compliment to Simon’s furniture.

To see more of Karina’s work visit her website…

P1050963Many of Frank Finn’s paintings explore the rhythmic tensions across land and sea. Other, non-figurative works research fundamental dynamics within the picture frame and the balance between informal and structured shapes. Frank Finn has been a trustee for Dorset Visual Arts and has frequently exhibited in Dorset Art Weeks, but this is the first time Frank’s work has been shown at the Courtyard Gallery.

To see more of Frank’s work visit his website…

 

As well as our dining furniture, occasional tables, cabinets and the Simon Thomas Pirie Contemporary Garden Range we have developed for Sitting Spiritually, there will be plenty of ‘work in progress’ going through the workshops including some of our larger projects like kitchens. We also plan to be steam bending throughout DAW – watch this blog and our social media for times and dates. The joy of an open workshop event like this is that we are always here to talk to – whether it’s just to answer a simple question or have an in depth discussion about a potential commission.

The workshop and gallery is open every day throughout the event from 10am till 5pm. Follow signs for Briantspuddle off the A35 2 miles west of Bere Regis, then keep following the red and yellow DAW venue signs 46/47 on to Rogers Hill Farm.

To search through the directory of 300 venues click here.

The free 160 page full colour Dorset Art Weeks brochures can be found throughout Dorset in pubs, galleries, libraries, and tourist information centres.

Simon Thomas Pirie & Karina Gill bring London Show to Purbeck Art Weeks

Friday, May 1st, 2015

27-31 May 2015: The Courtyard Gallery & Workshop, Rogers Hill Farm, Briantspuddle. DT2 7HJ

TWO of the area’s leading designer-makers have teamed up for a prestigious London exhibition, which they are then bringing back home to Dorset for a free show during Purbeck Art Weeks.

Furniture maker Simon Thomas Pirie from Briantspuddle and silversmith Karina Gill from Hazelbury Bryan are taking part in “Inspired 2015” at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell, an exhibition of the finest modern furniture makers and contemporary silversmiths. The event is part of British Silver Week (19-23 May).

Karina is showing a range of silver bowls, displayed in a pair of cabinets designed specially for ‘Inspired’ by Simon Thomas Pirie in English walnut, sycamore and glass.

The pair are then transferring the exhibits back to Dorset where they will be on show alongside further pieces in Simon’s gallery and workshop at Briantspuddle from 27-31 May as part of Purbeck Art Weeks.

“Wood and silver make a really nice combination that bring each other alive,’ says Simon.

“Karina is among the cream of Dorset’s designer-makers and I really respect her work. We’ve known each other for years and it’s lovely to have the opportunity to work together.”

Karina said: “I’m making a special silver bowl for the show inspired by Simon’s work. I admire his pieces for being so contemporary and slick.”

For Purbeck Art Weeks, Karina will be displaying her bowls, plus a range of jewellery with prices starting at £30. Simon will have a full range of furniture on display, including dining sets, cabinets, occasional tables and the desk he made for Makers’ Eye / St Hugh’s College in Oxford. This project recently won the ‘bespoke furniture category’ of the prestigious Wood Awards.

There’s also a chance to hear Karina and Simon talking about their work and practices during Purbeck Art Weeks on Thursday 28 May from 6-9pm at the Courtyard Gallery. Tickets available through Dorset Visual Arts, telephone 01305 853 100. Or see the Dorset Visual Arts website.

For full details of Purbeck Art Weeks Festival, including other open studios and events visit the PAWF website.

Furniture for Sale – Special Offers 2014

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

We have some very special pieces for sale – including a contemporary dresser piece in oak and ripple ash and a number of speculative ex-showroom pieces that have done their work and now need to be moved on. This year it’s the turn of the Rosa dressing table in ash and it sibling piece the English walnut Ronald Desk. We also have a number of sets of side tables.

‘Rosa’ is in bleached English ash with an oval adjustable mirror and a single drawer with divides and a pink leather drawer lining.
Dimensions: 120cm x 70cm, 134 cm high (to top of mirror)
For sale: £2450 (£3950 to commission new)

‘Ronald’ is in English walnut. A simple but very beautiful writing desk with a single drawer in oak. Pink leather drawer lining.
Dimensions: 120cm x 70cm, 75 cm high
For sale: £2450 (£3950 to commission new) SOLD

Oval side tables with magazine shelf in elm and black walnut. These innovative side tables come as an oval so can be used as a centre coffee table or split to sit on the ends of a sofa as an occasional drinks table. Either way really useful and flexible.
Dimensions: 70cm x 50cm, 50 cm high (when as one oval)
For sale: £775 for pair (£1750 to commission new)

Modern Dresser Cabinet in oak and ripple ash. Open oak shelves above with 2 doors and single drawer in cabinet section. A piece that would look stunning in a kitchen, reception room or hallway. The ultimate in practical contemporary furniture pieces.
Dimensions: 104cm x 42cm, 222cm high
For sale: £3950 (£4750 to commission new)

The pieces are available to view at the Courtyard Gallery by appointment. If you require more information please don’t hesitate to contact Simon.