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Posts Tagged ‘Furniture Makers’ Company’

A Grand Day Out

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

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Thursday 25 May 2017 was the hottest day of the year so far. The perfect day to travel to London to visit the most famous horticultural show in the world! All 3 directors, Simon, John and Bridget accompanied by John’s wife, Emily, took the opportunity to visit the new editions of Floating Bench on Sitting Spiritually’s stand at RHS Chelsea and were delighted to see how much attention they S&J Chelseawere getting. The sultry, jet-black Noir bench was the surprise hit of the show, outstripping Blonde in terms of sales, but both benches have joined the original Floating Bench as popular additions to gardens this summer.

As well as visiting Sitting Spiritually’s stand, there was plenty of time to visit other friends from Dorset, sculptor Simon Gudgeon from Sculpture by the Lakes and Richard Lee from Plankbridge Shepherds Huts, as well as viewing the show gardens and trade stands and gaining some inspiration for new designs as well as for our own gardens.

Our day was rounded off in the most perfect way with an invitation to the Furniture Makers’ Company Design Guild Mark Awards in Clerkenwell where John, Emily and Bridget were thrilled to watch Simon being presented with Design Guild Mark No.193 for Floating Bench. Simon now has his head full of ideas for more garden furniture so you can expect to see a new range taking shape soon and, who knows, maybe another Design Guild Mark may follow?

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Design Guild Mark for Floating Bench

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

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It has been another good year for Floating Bench. Following on from being a finalist in the RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year Award in 2016, Simon has now achieved the ultimate accolade having been awarded a Design Guild Mark by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. This award, only a handful of which are awarded each year, is the most highly prized by furniture makers nationally.

The Design Guild Mark is awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, in order to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation. The award recognises the highest standards in the design of furniture in volume production by the finest designers working in Britain, or British designers working abroad.

Floating Bench holds only the 193rd Design Guild Mark and when you search through the list of designers who have been previously awarded – well-known names like Robin Day, Rodney Kinsman (OMK), Simon Pengelly, Rod Wales, Mark Gabbertas, Sarah Kay and Samuel Chan, it’s very refined company. This is actually Simon’s second Design Guild Mark, he also holds number 142 jointly with Makers’ Eye for the Poon Desk from 2014.

DGM SS ChelseaThe judges recognised the beauty and innovation in the design of Floating Bench which is unique in the way the gently curved back rail appears to float, unsupported, whilst at the same time being robust and comfortable to sit against. The construction of the bench required a great deal of creativity and the team at Simon Thomas Pirie Ltd had not only to develop new techniques for steaming and scorching the timber but had to build their own equipment with which to do it. One of the biggest challenges to overcome was to devise a method of scorching the timber for the seat whilst ensuring that there was no possibility of black ash stains on light-coloured clothing. Having successfully solved this problem, we believe that we are the first garden seat maker to combine these techniques in outdoor furniture.

The Design Guild Mark Logo was displayed proudly on our Noir & Blonde Floating Benches on the Sitting Spiritually stand at RHS Chelsea this year

FurnitureMakers-GuildMark-Awards_2017_044-7640Simon being presented the award by Alex Gifford, Chair of the Design Guild Mark Committee and James McClachlan, the editor of Icon Magazine during Clerkenwell Design Week

The commitment to overcome the challenges faces by wooden furniture exposed to the elements was also acknowledged by the judges. Alex Gifford, chairman of the Design Guild Mark, commented that “Floating Bench is designed specifically as a garden bench and is not, as is often the case, a standard bench which can be put outside.”

FB2 SS Garden bThe contrast between the scorched, black seat and the natural oak back and arms of the original Floating Bench enhances the effect of the back rail hovering unsupported above the seat. The open back allows a view through the bench, minimising its visual impact whilst at the same time beautifully framing its backdrop; be it lush green foliage, brightly coloured flowering plants or a characterful dry stone wall.

To provide the gardener with yet more choice, two new editions of Floating Bench were unveiled at RHS Chelsea 2017. Blonde is entirely un-scorched and adds an understated contemporary twist to a traditional or naturally planted garden. Its natural oak silvers over time and melds into the garden as it rests, unassuming, inviting the weary to rest awhile. Noir on the other hand is a sculptural statement piece appealing to the more adventurous gardener. It looks spectacular when positioned against a background of green or brightly flowering plants and its jet-black scorched timber holds its own as the centrepiece of a more minimal garden.

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The Blonde & Noir special edition Floating Benches were launched at RHS Chelsea this year

The Original ‘Two-Tone’, Blonde and Noir versions of Floating Bench are available as two or three seaters and sold exclusively through Sitting Spiritually. Ltd Prices start at £3,120.

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
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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.