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Dorset Art Weeks 2018

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The Courtyard Gallery and Workshops (DAW venue 171) is the stunning, rural location of renowned furniture maker Simon Thomas Pirie. This year, Simon is thrilled to be joined by two very distinguished artists: glass-maker Ruth Dresman and abstract painter Georgina Fermer, who bring a vivid splash of colour to this vibrant exhibition.




Ruth Dresman:
This glass has been both liquid and solid, blown and carved in the process of its creation. Simple forms frame the flowing images brought to life by light and colour.


rdresman4 blue fish low


Georgina Fermer:
Georgina’s training at Hornsey College Of Art in the 60s laid the basis for a life in painting. Her inspiration comes from the visual impact of emotionally moving places or events, certain motifs (landscape, buildings, water, light) that have arisen repeatedly over years, not always from conscious choice.




We will also be using one of Plankbridge’s stunning shepherd’s huts as the design office during the event. These fabulous huts built by Richard Lee and his team in the Piddle Valley make great garden rooms, offices and studios. It will give us a bit more gallery space to show work in as well!




Needless to say there will be plenty of our own work in the gallery showcasing the beauty and versatility of natural timber. There will be classic designs alongside new pieces including tables, chairs, display cabinets and a few surprises! On weekdays the busy workshop will be open for visitors to see work in progress and to chat to the team as they create more heirlooms of the future.

Click here for more detail about the furniture on display during DAW 2018, including ex show pieces on sale.

Simon Pirie - 003 HiRes Square copy

Dorset Art Weeks 2018 runs from Saturday 26 May until Sunday 10 June, We are open every day from 10am until 5pm.

Directions: From the A35, 2 miles west of Bere Regis, follow signs for Briantspuddle and Warmwell (B3390). From there keep following the yellow DAW venue signs for around 1 mile onto Rogers Hill Farm.

Dorset Art Weeks Auction

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

DAWThe Dorset Art Weeks 2012 Auction is now over, if you missed it you really missed out on an opportunity to buy a piece of Simon Thomas Pirie Furniture at incredible prices, sorry!

The furniture included in this auction is speculative work and ex-show pieces that are for sale well below the usual commission price. Every few years we sell-off show pieces in order to make new speculative work and try out new design ideas. We have already had to withdraw two items – a large table and a pair of Impala chairs, as an existing client has snapped them up!

So how is this going to work? Those familiar with ebay will understand the ground rules. We display the normal ‘commission’ price, the ‘reserve’ price, that I won’t take an offer below, and a ‘buy it now’ price, to secure it immediately. The duration of the auction is basically the duration of Dorset Art Weeks – from 10am on Saturday May 26th, with all bids closing at 5pm on Sunday 10th June.

Bids can be placed in person here at the Courtyard workshop, (DAW venue 36) or via our Facebook page. You can keep up to date with the auction on twitter, facebook, and this blog. You will also be notified by email or by phone if you have been outbid.

It’s worth also saying that there are pieces of furniture which are not in the auction, including our last edition ‘Torii’ side tables, some new and exciting garden furniture, the still fairly new ‘Gabriel’ chair, plus one or two surprise pieces.

There are some auction terms and conditions you should read at the bottom of this blog post, but it’s nothing too onerous. So what pieces of exquistite work are going under the carpenters mallet…

Banquet Table‘Banquet’ Dining Table

The Banquet dining table is as a contemporary twist on the refectory table. The ash top is bleached and scrubbed with boiling water and a wire brush creating a beautifully textured white surface. The frame and top details are made of Scottish elm. It will seat 8 to 10.

Dimensions: 230cm x 92cm, 75cm high.

Commission Price: £6250

Reserve Price:

Buy It Now Price:

Low DisplayLow Display Cabinet

The cabinet is made with two very unusual timbers. The dark wood is from a Dorset American black (Virginia) walnut tree, which grew as part of an avenue of trees to a large house, now a private school. It has an entirely different colour to commercial imported black walnut and is stunningly beautiful. The inside utilises a pippy of ‘birds eye’ sycamore, which is lit, creating a warm glow of colour ideal for collections of ceramics or glass objects.

Dimensions: 148cm x 45cm, 90cm high.

Commission Price: £5950

Reserve Price:

Buy It Now Price:

E Walnut consoleEnglish Walnut Console Table

A beautiful and delicate console table full of sweeping curves and a repeating square detail motif. We currently have two similar tables, this one in English walnut with ebony details, the second in native grown black walnut and burr elm. The perfect piece for a hallway in my favorite timber.

Dimensions: 115cm x 31cm, 75cm high.

Commission Price: £2350


Buy It Now Price:

Virginia Walnut Console 2Native Grown Black Walnut and Burr Elm Console

The sister piece to the table above. This is a native grown ‘black’ or American walnut, it’s not the same colour as the imported stuff you see everywhere, it has deeper red and purple tones – very unusual. The burr elm square details set those colours off perfectly. A beautiful and delicate occasional table looking for a home!

Dimensions: 115cm x 31cm, 75cm high.

Commission Price: £2350


Buy It Now Price:

Drinks Cabinet FR LowDrinks Cabinet in Burr Sycamore, Ripple Ash and English Walnut

A really striking piece, designed as drinks cabinet with adjustable glass shelves inside. The cabinet is suspended within an offset framework making it appear to float. The doors have a finger scollop running top to bottom with English walnut set within. The door faces have a burr sycamore on the surface, I’ve only ever seen this once so I bought as much as I could afford!

Dimensions: 78cm x 45cm, 180cm high.

Commission Price: £5950


Buy It Now Price:

Pair of ‘Coda’ Side Tables in Sycamore and Random Woods

Coda Side tables 1This was part of an experimental range of pieces where the top is made of a panel of random pieces of timber from our off-cuts rack. Although I say random it takes ages for me to arrange the sequence and even longer to glue and sand, but the effect is pretty. The frame is made of native sycamore, the other timbers are black walnut, oak and lacewood.

Dimensions: 35cm x 35cm, 45cm high. (each)

Commission Price: £1200


Buy It Now Price:

Tall Alcove ShelvesTall Alcove Shelf in Black Walnut

This needs to find a spot, it’s a bit of a long shot, but someone out there is looking for something just like this for that awkward alcove or corner they just can’t think what to do with. It was part of a set of 5 shelves that locked together forming a very abstract, random formation. All the other pieces were different widths. In the end the client felt this centre one was a bit too narrow for an important piece of ceramics they wanted displayed, so we made a new wider centre section. We could add a shelf in that very tall alcove where the ceramic piece was placed.

It does have an overhanging lip on the sides and top so could be fitted into a larger alcove space or have one built to house it.

Dimensions: 34cm wide x 30cm deep, 242cm high. (each)

Commission Price: £1750

Reserve Price:

Buy It Now Price: £750

THE SMALL (ISH) PRINT – Terms and Conditions:
• All items are ‘sold as seen’ and are non-returnable to Simon Thomas Pirie Furniture (STP).
• Bids increase in £25 increments. Latest bids will be displayed on STP website, STP Facebook page and other social media outlets, as well as in the Courtyard Gallery.
• Bidders will be asked to leave name, address and contact details. We reserve the right to contact a previous bid if a current highest bid cannot be contacted.
• ‘Buy it Now’ purchases to be paid for on the day to secure item and remove it from auction.
• Current highest bidders will be advised if they have been outbid by phone, email or text depending on preferred contact method.
• VAT is charged at 20% and included within above costs.
• All costs are ex-delivery. We are able to deliver within a 50 mile radius for £60 / within 100 mile radius for £120. Above that we charge an additional 40p per mile. Any congestion charge / tolls will also be added to delivery costs. You may also organise your own transport.
• Delivery details to be agreed on bid date with STP.
• All bids must be received by 5.00pm Sunday 10th June 2012.
• Once payment has been received in full delivery or collection can proceed.
• All pieces to remain on show until June 10th – except for in exceptional circumstances.

Dorset Art Weeks Diary 2012

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

DAWHere we go again, like last year I’ll be keeping a Dorset Art Weeks Diary, a kind of exhibitors eye view of the event. So the brochures are out, the website is up, tweets are flying and there is that air of excitement in the air for the artists and visitors alike.

With 23 days to go it’s all coming up rather fast, but by reading what I was thinking and doing last time perhaps that can help me prepare a bit more, well maybe. I suspect I will still be doing labels as the first visitor walks in, just like last time. As well as the perspective from my venue I will try to get out and see as many other artists and makers as possible. Seems only right for me as the DVA chair of the trustees to do some ‘art miles’. If you want to see what we all got up to last time in 2010 and read the diary click here

Torii, Torii, Torii

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Over the years our Torii side tables have been a very popular item. It has been 12 years since I designed and made my first set for an enthusiastic client who posed a very open brief, “just have some fun” she said. That first set was in lacewood with walnut details, since then we have sold them to clients in Britain and Europe.

Walnut Torii pair

This black walnut set was the second set made. Each one has been slightly different in terms of the timber combinations. Below is a more recent incarnation in bleached sycamore with stainless steel details.

Syc Torii Detail 3Torii AMBW De

The numbers around Torii tables seem to make sense, over 12 years we will have made an edition of 12 pairs. (I say ‘pairs’, but there is an exception to that rule, one client did commission a set of 3 – the only set of of 3!) Last year we made another 3 pairs: in pippy elm, elm and cherry. I’m planning to stop at 12 sets in 2012 so just one more set and that will be that. I do feel a bit sad about it, but at the same time it feels right to limit the numbers, otherwise they won’t be special to me anymore.

I’ve been thinking hard about what to make that 12th set out of, it needs to be something special, something fitting. I’m not going to say what that is, but it will be here on display during Dorset Art Weeks 2012 , (DAW) at the Courtyard Gallery and Workshops, from the 26th June to 10th June.

The ‘Torii’ design has a strong emotional connection for me, a reminder of a very special trip to Japan in 1994 with a terminally ill brother. Japan and those memories have been a lasting influence ever since, and these tables are the most physical manifestation of that.

Torii red

This view stuck with me, the famous Miyajima gate. We stayed at a traditional Japanese Inn on the island, then in a monastry at the top of the mountain. Japan is a complex mix of the traditional and formal, combined with the modern and uncompromising. I loved that tension – the old wooden house next door to a concrete 3 storey building, a kimono wearing woman on a bullet train and a temple precinct among the multi coloured neon signs of Tokyo.

So there will be just 4 sets left during DAW:

Bleached sycamore with stainless steel details – on show at the new ZMMA architects office in Shaftesbury (Venue 295) during DAW

Elm with native grown black walnut details – on show here at the Courtyard Workshops. SOLD

Cherry with native grown black walnut details – on show at Durlston Castle (Venue 53) during DAW

That 12th and final edition for 2012 in something very unusual, also on show here at the Courtyard Workshops during DAW

The limited edition ‘Torii’ tables are £1850 per pair, but be quick, I’m expecting them to go!

Last Torii

Some of the last ‘Torii’ tables lined up at the Courtyard workshop before finishing.