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Posts Tagged ‘Interior design dorset’

Preview: Dorset Art Weeks 2014

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Just a week to go until Dorset Art Weeks 2014 and as usual there is a real buzz around the county’s artists, makers and art lovers. Brochures are out, the website is live and 300+ venues around Dorset are busy preparing themselves for tens of thousands of visitors. We always look forward to DAW and welcoming visitors to the Courtyard Gallery, there’s no better way of getting feedback than by opening your doors.

This year, as ever, we are joined by other artists who’s reputations preceed them; our long standing co-exhibitor, the jeweller Liz Tyler and new to the Courtyard Gallery this year, the painter Jim Hunter.

Jim was born and grew up in Co Durham, he studied painting at Winchester School of Art and then the Royal College of Art in the mid 1970’s. He then spent time in Paris, and it was through this period his enduring interest in modernism and the potential of abstraction grew.

Landscape has been the predominant reference in his work and, throughout his career, he has maintained the practice of drawing directly from the landscape as the source for his ideas. In the work that he has exhibited in recent years intuitive and expressive responses have been complemented by more considered and protracted research in his studio, interpreting the landscape through an abstract and structured language. Current work has been in response to places as different as Iceland, Japan, Venice and of course, the Isle of Purbeck.

Until very recently Jim pursued his practice as a painter alongside a career in art education, as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Arts University Bournemouth and now Professor Emeritus of Painting.

If you want to find out more about Jim’s work in the meantime look at his website: Jim Hunter Paintings

Liz Tyler has exhibited with us here many times, her work is the perfect compliment to our furniture in terms of quality, skill, attention to detail and design. It’s not unusual for us to both sell to the same client, which tells its own story.

2014 sees Liz celebrating 25 years of creating her award winning sculptural jewellery. Following a Flamenco dance and drawing workshop-run by Dorset Visual Arts and Dance South West, Liz’s latest pieces have evolved with a more dynamic sense of movement in the flow of the designs. – Liz specialises in individual engagement and wedding ring sets and bold colourful dress rings, but specifically for this silver anniversary year is making some larger silver pieces again .

To see more of Liz Tyler’s work visit her website:

As always Simon Thomas Pirie will be exhibiting stunning new work, but there will also be one or two speculative pieces that have reached the end of their showroom lives that we will be letting go at low prices. The workshops will be open to visitors to wander around and see work in progress. This year the workshops will be dominated by a very large elm and black walnut contemporary kitchen with two striking islands. The making team will working during the week so the place will be humming.

Our centre pieces in the showroom for DAW 2014 will be a stunning English walnut 2.0m diameter round table with a middle that spins. Round it will be 10 of our new ‘Gabriel’ dinning chairs in native walnut and sycamore.

This is a commissioned piece for a client, but without a doubt the most beautiful dining set we’ve ever made, out of some of the rarest timber, so we really wanted to show it off. We will also be displaying contemporary dressers, desks, dressing tables, chairs, outdoor furniture and occasional tables, including our new experimental ‘black’ range, seen in the image above.

To see more of our furniture visit the Portfolio Website

We are open here at Venue 45, The Courtyard Gallery and Workshop every day during Dorset Art Weeks (24th May to 8th June) from 10am until 5pm. If you would like to come to our official opening on the Sunday evening of the Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday 25th May) and enjoy some wonderful locally produced Dorset food and wine please let us know:

Simon Pirie, / 01929 471900

To see all the artists and makers exhibiting in Dorset Art Weeks 2014 visit the website and start planning your days out now!

The Magazine Rack – Dorset Magazine Feature

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

We were featured across 4 pages in this months (October 2013) Dorset Magazine, with story by Sara Hudston of Watershed PR who know us so well, matched up with the amazing images of Matt Austin.

The full set of 100+ shots Matt took around the workshops can be seen on his blog by clicking here.

It’s been lovely having friends and strangers alike coming up to me saying “I saw you in Dorset Magazine”.

Dining Tables at Less Than Half Price!

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

We have two dining tables that we need to ‘move on’, so as a result they are currently less than half price! We often make speculative pieces where we try new design ideas; sometimes they sell immeadiately, sometimes they don’t. There is always a client out there somewhere for every piece, I’ve just got to find them!

It’s important for us to always have new work in shows, so after a couple of years we will cut the price of a piece that has done all the shows and galleries we can think of. One such piece is our ‘Banquet’ dining table. This was made 3 years ago, the top was made of very large boards of rather uninspiring ash – not really very white but not rich olive colour either, so we bleached and scrubbed them as an experiment and ended up with this beautifully textured white surface. Coupled with the rich green/red/brown tones of the elm curved frame and leg structure it makes a stunning table. The table seats 8 comfortably but can easily accommodate 10.

Designed as a contemporary twist on the refectory table I’m still amazed this piece has not sold. As always it is a bit too big, a bit too small, the wrong wood etc etc. But as with all speculative pieces it has generated plenty of conversations, interest and even commissions, but it is time it found a new home!

Status: Made and ready for sale. Currently on display at our Dorset Showroom.
Selling Price: £2950 Inc VAT (Price to commission new would be £6250)
Dimensions: 230cm x 92cm, 75cm high.
Materials: Bleached and Scrubbed ash / Scottish elm.

The story behind our second dining table for sale is a little different. We sold this oak and black walnut ‘Lozenge’ table 2 years ago with a set of matching Impala chairs. The clients have since moved and downsized, but they found that the table is just a little too big for the new dining space. We have designed them a new one and have agreed to sell the old one following a complete refurbishment by us. It will look like new by the time we have finished with it!

To see what one of our refinished tables looks like read the story of when first oak dining table we ever made came back to us for a new lease of life after nearly 20 years: 001 Returns Home

The ‘Lozenge’ table is one of our classic designs, and that timber combination of oak and walnut suits it best. It’s a lovely sociable shape designed to seat 6 in luxury and 8 with ease. Please note the chairs are not being sold, it is the table only.

Status: Made and ready for sale. Currently still in clients home in Dorchester but available to view.
Selling Price: £2500 Inc VAT (Price to commission new would be £5250)
Dimensions: 200cm x 110cm widest / 75cm at ends, 75cm high.
Materials: Oak top, black walnut legs and frame.

‘Rosa’ and her Brother…

Friday, March 29th, 2013

What could be more poignant and romantic than a bespoke dressing table?

Our new and perfectly formed ‘Rosa’ dressing table is being launched for Spring 2013. The idea stemmed from an exquisite desk we made called ‘Ronald’, which was similarly detailed, the same size and finished in English walnut. A wonderful piece, but perhaps more of a gentleman’s desk. So we wondered if we could make something similar with more feminine qualities.

We consciously made Rosa in beautiful native ash, because of its pale straw colour and characterful grain texture, but also for its strength and vitality. Ash has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, so we wanted to give it a positive story and show off its sophisticated side. Rosa is the perfect combination of glamour and practicality. It exudes light, a sense of calm and sanctuary, perfect for the private, personal space of a bedroom. The design gives a nod in the direction of ‘50’s retro without being slavish. It features a semi-circular top, with elegant tapered legs, topped with a large oval, bevelled mirror. The table has a generous internal drawer, made in oak, lined with a charming surprise: a raspberry pink Andrew Muirhead leather lining, complete with oak dividers.

The sleek design, like all of our work, complements both contemporary and traditional bedroom styles. The oval mirror was chosen over the traditional rectangle design, to make it more flexible for use in a window, alcove or corner.

As a timber and a tree ash has been really underrated over the years. It was regarded as a workhorse, used for Windsor chairs and other ‘low brow’ venacular furniture for the masses. By using Ash for this dressing table, we’re giving it a chance to shine and show its sophisticated side. We hope anyone who loves Ash trees as we do will enjoy seeing the timber revitalised and treasured in this way.

I’ve written more about ash die back, and this tree’s place in the English countryside, click here to read more.

‘Rosa’ and her brother ‘Ronald’ both measure 120cms x 60cms x 75cms high. Height to the top of the mirror on ‘Rosa’ is 135cms. Both have one drawer which is 48cms wide x 44cms deep.

Rosa and Ronald are both £4250 in these timbers.