2008 brought with it my first solo exhibition and a celebration of 30 years designing and making at my Wiltshire workshops. I felt this warranted a tad more than my normal enthusiasm and vigour, so I ascended the heights and dived into the depths in order to design and make 25 new and exciting pieces of work ranging from the dramatic pyramidalised dresser to a new fan tray that, at last, finds a beautiful home for all those wasteful off-cuts.
The exhibition was hosted and launched at the Crafts Study Centre firstname.lastname@example.org last November where it ran for 3 months. As the CSC’s first touring exhibition the work moves to the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool from 25 April to 6 June 2009.
All the pieces on show are for sale and strive to reflect my relationship with and affection for wood. This journey started with musings and mischief beneath the towering elms of my childhood, evolved into an infatuation with trees in general, finally maturing into a life-long love affair with their gift of a material, inadequately described as wood, which I have now come to view as recycled sunshine and rainwater. In all the pieces I have determinedly striven to express the material’s individual quirks and qualities, to memorialise it with achingly beautiful and desirable furniture.
My determination and enthusiasm has flourished over the years and now also shines in the eyes of the makers I’ve apprenticed. The ‘I’ has become ‘we’ and we are now fortunate to be reaping the rewards of a life-long commitment to the training of makers, with a consummate team of young, committed masters of their material.
Above all, the exhibition and the celebration of 30 years would be nothing without our clients and their trust in us. Along with our commitment to elegantly appropriate, enduring design and construction, our clients are at the centre of what we do.
This dual celebration is marked by the publication of a monograph by Professor Simon Olding, available at the exhibition or by post from our showroom, and also by a limited edition of 30 ‘celebration bowls’, each one sculpted from 63 end-grain blocks of wind-blown English walnut representing the collaboration between the material, designer, maker and you, the recipient. The 64th block is silver, evoking the magic in that process and of our continued journey together.