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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Thomas Pirie’

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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Ash & Sycamore Drinks Cabinet – Chin Chin!

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

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Followers of the blog will remember a feature we did last year on an English walnut drinks cabinet whose dark rich colours seemed to enhance and reflect a fine collection of malt whiskies, which just happened to be mine. Over the past couple of years though it has become very evident that there is a complete renaissance happening in bespoke gin making in Britain, with new brands emerging seemingly everyday producing beautiful tasting and beautiful looking products. So this got me thinking – was it time for a gin collectors cabinet?

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We had in the meantime been commissioned to make another darker, walnut drinks cabinet which had slightly different proportions – taller and thinner. Then came yet another commission for a lighter timber version for a Scottish client, so it seemed to make sense to combine these elements and make an extra showroom cabinet – the alter-ego piece to the dark walnut whisky collector’s cabinet in the showroom.

The frame is made in native figured (or ripple) sycamore, as are the sides and interior of the cabinet section which floats suspended in the frame. For the doors we were looking for something a bit different, it needed to be subtle but eye catching. In the end we landed on using a burr ash, similar in colour to sycamore but with a very distinct grain and texture that seemed to suit the piece. The recessed handle detail on the curved front doors is in elm, as are various details throughout the cabinet like the cross rail detail on the bottom curved frame. We designed the bespoke hinges with I.P Engineering. They are a work of art in their own right, made from stainless steel and phosphor bronze.

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As on the other drinks cabinets the interior is lit with LED spotlights which come on via a sensor when the door is opened. The shelves are fully adjustable and made of toughened glass for maximum flexibility in terms of format. The back of the cabinet interior has mirror glass on it, creating more light, depth and reflection.

We had a lot of fun during the shoot with Double Exposure Photographic trying to get these shots right, playing around with interior and positions of the various gin bottles. We managed to resist drinking any of it, although not all of them made it back to the shelves of Morrish & Banham Wine Merchants in Brewery Square Dorchester! I’d like to thank Mark Banham for his expertise on the selection, but also for trusting us with so much of the clear stuff, with just my word he’d ever see me again.

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A lovely element of this was that two of the Gins are Dorset distilleries. Conker Spirit Gin are based in Bournemouth and Fordington Gin from just down the road in Dorchester. This very English micro industry is really taking off much in the way that craft brewing has done. In a way it has lots of resonance with other bespoke craft industries like our own. Perhaps that’s why we like it so much.

So here’s to English summer evenings with a gin in hand. Chin Chin!

Materials: Native figured sycamore walnut with burr ash doors

Dimensions: 70cm x 46cm, 180cm high

For sale: £6250

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom, by appointment. 30 June to 2 July at Making Dorset exhibition – For further information click here

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Furniture for Sale – Summer 2017

Monday, June 12th, 2017

We have various ex-show pieces on sale with significant reductions on what would be their ‘commissioned’ price. Once a speculative piece has done a number of exhibitions for us we feel it has ‘earned its keep’ and it’s time to find it a new home. This ensures there is always something new to look at on a visit to the Courtyard Gallery and gives us the opportunity to replace a showroom piece with new design ideas.

Although most of the furniture is usually here in the showroom at the Courtyard Workshop we are also taking part in Making Dorset (June 30th to July 2nd) so some of the pieces will be on show there for the duration of the exhibition. Please refer to the ‘Location’ text.

The Courtyard Gallery & Workshops are open by appointment, so if you would like to come along and see the furniture please get in contact with Simon, Bridget or John.

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Burr Ash and Ripple Sycamore Drinks Cabinet

New for 2017, a stunning native burr ash and figured sycamore drinks cabinet where the frame appears to float free of the cabinet section. LED lighting on sensor which comes on when doors are opened, 4 glass adjustable shelves within.

Materials: Native figured sycamore walnut with burr ash doors

Dimensions: 70cm x 46cm, 180cm high

For sale: £6250

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

There are more details and more images of this cabinet elsewhere on this blog – please click here to read more.

 

Inspired Dresser copyModern Dresser Cabinet

Gently curved 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.

Materials: Oak shelves and frame with ripple ash doors and drawers.

Dimensions: 104cm x 42cm, 222cm high

For sale: £3750 (£4750 to commission new)

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired Display Cab copy(Pair of) Ascot Display Cabinets

A pair of elegant subtle curved full height glass door display cabinets. Ideal for display of collectables, glassware etc but also as a drinks cabinet. Ideally sold as pair but will split.

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Dimensions: 96cm x 38cm, 203cm high (each)

Materials: English walnut with figured sycamore interior. LED lighting and adjustable glass shelves within.
For sale as pair: £7000 (£9,900 to commission new)

For sale individually: £3500 (£4950 to commission new)

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

 

 

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Gabriel Dining Chair

Pictured with walnut lozenge dining table (details below.) Gabriel chairs are available to commission in other timbers and combinations.

Materials: Black walnut with black walnut laminated back, purple and gold woven fabric.

Dimensions: 46cm x 52cm, 105cm high

For sale: £750 each (£975 each to commission new each, without fabric)

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

We currently have 4 of these Gabriel chairs available, we can make others to match.

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Lozenge Dining Table

Black walnut lozenge shaped top with black walnut underframe. Laminated curved structural rails with 2 pillars keeping frame away from knees. Seats 8 to 10. Available in other materials and sizes.

Materials: Black Walnut (with English walnut details in pillars)

Dimensions: 220cm x 108cm, 75cm high

For sale: £3950 (£4950 to commission new)

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

 

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Walnut Drinks Cabinet

Stunning English & burr walnut drinks cabinet where the frame appears to float free of the cabinet section. LED lighting on sensor which comes on when opened, 3 glass adjustable shelves within.

Materials: English walnut with burr black walnut doors

Dimensions: 78cm x 46cm, 180cm high

For sale: £5950 (£6720 to commission new)

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

There are more details and more images of this cabinet elsewhere on this blog – please click here to read more.

 

 

(Pair of) Pivot Drawer Console Tables

Ash-Pivit-Drawer-Console-768x1024A pair of lovely pivot drawer tables in native ash, a much under-appreciated wood! The drawers pivot from the outside edge creating an unusual but nevertheless very useful storage space (large enough for A4 plus plenty more). Perfect as a hall table to drop keys and other items into. Ideally sold as a pair but will split. Available to commission in other timbers. (We have made them in walnut and sycamore previously.)

Dimensions: 120cm x 45cm, 80cm high (each)

Materials: English ash with Scottish grey/brown leather interior.

For sale as pair: £5500 (£7250 to commission new)

For sale individually: £2750 (£3625 to commission new)

Current Location: The Courtyard Workshop Showroom

 

 

All of these pieces are available for viewing at the Courtyard Workshop Showroom, Briantspuddle, Dorset. DT2 7HJ. The showroom is open by appointment.

‘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.

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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.