Furniture Gallery: introduction
The furniture we make is in the style of the Arts & Crafts period. That's roughly 1890 to 1915. There are a large number of books devoted to the style and a big exhibition on the Arts & Crafts was held in the V&A museum in London last year. To the left (below the link buttons) is a bedside cabinet inspired by that designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Windy Hill House, Kilmacolm. Other pieces pictured on the website owe inspiration from William Lethaby (a close-up of a washstand below is an example), Oscar Paterson (the stained glass window on the home page), Gustav Stickley, Charles Limbert and Ernest Archibald Taylor (the white fire surround on the fireplaces page).
Indeed, we occasionally are forced to embrace the Arts & Crafts spirit more than we would wish, for we often have to resort to making fittings and accessories that would have been available to craftsmen a century ago. Because all our furniture is bespoke (we do not even employ small batch production to knock out half a dozen of any given item, not yet anyway), everything is made by by hand (understand this loosely, please, for we do use power tools!).
Most of our furniture is made of oak, the traditional timber of the Arts & Crafts period. We also use Douglas fir and alder and are happy to use other woods to suit our clients, although we try not to use tropical hardwoods.
We build fitted furniture as well as free standing: cupboards, wardrobes, kitchens and doors. Always, however, the emphasis is on the artistic or historic. Fireplaces are something of our specialty. To match the beauty of original Arts & Crafts fireplaces, we have had to find artists capable of making beaten copper panels and source some gorgeous tiles. A near relation of the fireplace, or perhaps I should say their descendant, is the radiator cover. We make radiator covers unlike anyone else does. Because their only reason for being is to hide the ugliness of radiators, we lay on the art thickly. We treat our radiator covers not only as proper fitted furniture (they vary in height, depth, width, position of radiator bleeds, and the size of the top shelf), but as bespoke furniture, for even the decorative motifs vary to suit the client.
Bookcases are our original specialty. We began by building bookcases and they are the only type of furniture we constantly make speculatively. This one is perhaps our most attractive, intended for my wife but sold to a famous writer. Made of solid oak it weighs a ton. Indeed, one of the reasons my wife never got it is because we couldn't get it up the stairs!
In time we will certainly increase the number of smaller items that we build. Most craftspeople who work in wood find this the lucrative market: little affordable mementoes and gifts, nicknacks and collectibles. While we make picture and mirror frames, to date this has been strictly bespoke work. We have made several frames as wedding gifts (the initials of the couple and the date of the marriage usually being carved into the wood). The other frames have been built specifically to take pieces of art appropriate to the Arts and Crafts period, such as original prints or embroideries.
This is anything but typical of our furniture! It started life as an Edwardian dressing chest. The top and original drawer pulls had been removed in the past and the joints had failed by the time it reached us. We removed the drawers, filled the top space with a leaded glass panel and made doors for the bottom section: £500.
Finally, it should be added that, as a member of the Scottish Furniture Makers Association (click the link at the left), if we are unable to build something for you, we know someone who can.