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Craftco Exhibition with Derek Chambers

Our joint exhibition is drawing to a close and ends on Wednesday 28th April so there is still time to do along and have a look. Some of the furniture and turned vessels will be on show at Open Studios in June. There is an accompanying book, “Walking with Peter”. It describes the walks I did with my father, Peter, along the Suffolk Coast which were the inspiration for this series of vessels. We would wild camp, often in the winter and became really familiar with the sometimes wild and desolate but beautiful coastline. The book, with illustrations from my father’s sketchbooks, is available directly from me price £7-50 including post.

Three vessels, Cherry and Apple from the exhibition.

A view of the Craftco gallery with some of the stool/tables in chestnut and Ash. The legs have a hint of colour and the hollow vessels are in ash and Laburnham.

The Kranky chair now has a side table.

The Kranky chair now has a matching side table made from the same plank of oak. The legs are finished in the same dark red paint and then oiled and there is a dish or shallow bowl carved at one end for your small loose items or snack. It would be great if they went to a new home together but they are also available separately. Please email to arrange a viewing or they will be on show from 30th December at the Carousel Gallery in Framingham.

A new back stool or chair, the Kranky range

This back stool is part of the Kranky range of stools, chairs and larger furniture and is inspired by the early handmade furniture of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In the past people often made their own furniture out of necessity using materials at hand or gleaned from the hedgerow or beach. I have lived in Scotland for a number of years and extensively visited homes and crofting collections. I enjoy the boldness and immediacy of design and use of colour. Adapting design to available materials and using simple yet strong construction techniques.

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This back stool is made from Suffolk Oak for the seat and crest rail and Ash for the legs and spindles. The Ash log was split using traditional tools and then hand turned on a lathe. The Oak seat has a waney edge following the original bark line. The finish is paint, oil and lastly wax.

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I make a range of pieces in this style so please get in touch if you have a need or request for other pieces.

The Butterfly bench in Chestnut and Ash

This is a new bench that I have been thinking about for quite awhile and finally got round to making. I wanted a lighter alternative to the Suffolk Jollies so the top is from two pieces of tapered Chestnut joined by a butterfly shaped cross piece at each end. The lightweight undercarriage is in Ash with the joints accentuated by brass screws. Also available in Oak. this one is approximately 52″ long and 11″ wide from £295 depending on size and wood.

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Cherry bowls

I have just completed a set of twelve Cherry bowls using timber from White House Farm in Suffolk. I have used  semi-green timber which is very pleasant to turn and comes to a fine finish. Also the smell is great as it is cut ! The walls are very thin and the bowls weigh between 25 and 100grams, they have an oiled finish. I couldn’t resist painting the inside of one with a matt cherry pink. Available for sale at Alde Valley Festival and prices start at £65 for a bowl 78mm high and a diameter of 66mm.

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Cherry bowl 106mm high 107mm diameter 100grams £145

Sycamore and Ash bench aka the Suffolk Jolly

I have just completed another Sycamore and Ash bench. This one, finished in green is going to make up a pair with a contrasting red bench. I think Sycamore is a really underrated wood, carefully chosen it can have a beautiful grain pattern. Benches in this style, known as Suffolk Jollies,  are available to order in a range of sizes, leg pattern  and paint finishes. We are starting to use milk paint which gives a very durable but low sheen finish, more info to follow.

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Just completed in the workshop.

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A close up of the beautiful grain pattern.

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Looked good with a Kyrgyz felt rug !

Beatle benches, some Chestnut with an interesting history

Looking through my timber store recently I found a plank of chestnut, a leftover from an old job. Quite some time ago I was asked to make some outdoor benches as an integral part of a large sculptural willow fence designed by my wife, Stephanie Bunn. I was helping on the project and I remember it was a very dismal spring, the year of foot and mouth. Anyway this plank was left over so it has a tenuous connection to the Beatles as one of the group was a client for the project! So if you would like some Beatles memorabilia they are currently at Craftco in Southwold, a great shop and well worth a visit.

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Beatle Benches, chestnut top with ash octagonal legs.

Suffolk Open Studios 15th and 16th June

Its time for the Suffolk open Studios weekend so do come along and have a look. There is a mix of large and small wooden bowls and hollow forms, benches, chairs and stools and of course the latest batch of Suffolk Whimmy Diddles.

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The Suffolk Whimmy Diddle

Whimmy Diddle,   A traditional folk toy found in Britain and America. I first saw one in a museum fifty years ago. In the past they would have been whittled from twigs but I now make them form Suffolk Ash. Hold the handle very firmly and rub the stick along the arm with notches, after a bit of practise and luck the propeller will spin quickly. Advanced Whimmy Diddlers are able to make the propeller reverse… This is NOTa toy due to the small parts ! Come and have a go with one at my Suffolk Open Studio 15th – 16th June or watch the video clip on my Instagram account !

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