Here's how I brought a couples dream of having a unique live-edge dining room table to life.
When I was originally asked to make this table the plan was for one large slab for the top approximately 7ftx3ft. This was possible but after the first consultation with the client it was decided to use split chestnut due to the size, weight and cost of a slab that big. I could also see the love this person had for live-edge timber, so what better than to have a table that is full of natural shapes, colours and different grain patterns.
So the project was a go! I began by selecting two boards with the most interesting shapes for the outside edge and the other planks. This was from timber I had previously hand-milled myself and left to season.
Next up was the splitting process. Once I had the two outer edges split, I split another three planks and set them up together to see which ones would be best next to each other with the least alteration.
Once happy, the shaping took place using a adze. A little bit of finesse with a spoke shave and a final bit of sanding got these planks ready.
So, it now sat together beautifully and the next job was to make the cross brace and cut the underside out with the chainsaw and chisel. Actual blood, sweat and tears went into this part of the build to get it sat together right and secure.
Putting the top together next for the first time see the slow transformation from tree to table is so satisfying.
Now came the issue of the legs. Yes, those massive legs proved a bit of a challenge. The original plan was to carve the legs into a spiral. However I felt that they would compromise the fact that I'd tried to keep the top as natural as possible. Also I was worried about the effect it would have on the structural integrity of the wood as they had to support a lot of weight. So I invited the client back for a chat and a sneaky peek at the development of the table.
We agreed that chunky legs were the way forward. I now had to get down to the long and tedious sanding part of the job, it took the best part of two days getting the finish finer and finer but once oiled up, boy was it worth it.
Approximately five litres of oil (my own special blend) went into this table to achieve the finish I was after. What's the blend? First I use peanut oil to help with bringing out the rich dark notes, then lots of teak oil as a good feeder oil, then finally grape oil that helps form a hard seal and waterproofs the table to some degree.
The table was finished and I couldn't wait to get it into its new home. But, the actual delivery had been the last thing on my mind, so I enlisted the help of a strong friend and despite him nearly putting his back out we got it in the truck.
The look of excitement and anticipation was awesome but also made me feel so much pressure, especially as I had led them away from the original plan.
After getting the legs in place it was time for the top to be brought in and after some choice words it was sitting on its legs and in its new home. I was so excited as I hadn't even seen it all together yet. Taking the cover off was amazing, the joy in the customers faces made me breath a sigh of relief and they were over the moon.
But the story doesn't end there, I offer an aftercare package to oil the table and ensure and settling movements are managed. I also provided the customers with the table's story in images, showing it from tree to table and all the steps in between. I hope the table will help bring many a joy and gathering in the future for this couple who have now a truely unique piece of furniture in their home.
How to have an arty wedding.
Do you dream in colour and crush over an impasto painting? Well we've taken an Internet dive to bring you some fabulous ideas to get you started on a truly unique arty wedding.
2. THE CAKE.
Let's face it, thick luscious icing has many similarities to paint. So why not treat your cake like a blank canvas and create a masterpiece on it.
3 THE BACKDROP
Forget the balloon and flower walls, how about getting some personality full backdrop going on to have your vows or photos against. Get something painted unique to you and then get it stretched onto bars after to display in your home. Winner winner we think! WE CAN HELP WITH THIS SO WHY NOT GET IN TOUCH.
Photo credit Wedding wire
Photo credit Rocha fotografia
4. TAKE TO THE DRESS OR THE LINEN
Paint it, dye it, up cycle it. It takes guts but results can be mind blowing! Have a backup plan and by knowing you have that may enable the freedom to create something truly you without fear.
LOVE LOVE THIS ONE.
Photo credit Alexkwang photograpy & @romirichardson
5. THE KIDS
A great way to keep the kids entertained is to give them an arty table or art packs to go at their place setting. We offer a kids option with our Your Guest Canvas and can do a bespoke setting for the table too.
Photo credit Bride & Groom Direct
Acrylic plaques at weddings have been popular for a while. But what we love about this one is its a proper little painting. So everyone gets their own little bit of artwork to take home. WE CAN HELP WITH THIS SO WHY NOT GET IN TOUCH
Any kind of creativity or exercise are great tools to support mindfulness. In our busy lives, its becoming increasingly important to take a restful moment that promotes wellness and selfcare. Art can help do that and if you've not done much it shouldn't be something to be scared of. These 3 simples steps advise on how to involve art into your life to aide mindfulness.
1. No pressure.
This isn't about creating a finished piece. This is one of my biggest learnings from university was how to use a sketchbook as an exercise in exploration rather than starting each with the mindset of thinking how will it turn out.
Take yourself back to your childhood art, when you just created, it could be a mess, it could be organised pattern but overall it is just play. Remove the pressure to make "something" or draw something realistic and just MAKE YOUR MARK. This isn't work to show to be judged, but who the hell cares if its seen, its an extension of the creative side of your brain. I dont want to hear "but I can't draw", because everyone can physically draw. We don't have to be Rembrandt to enjoy the process.
Loosen up and enjoy exercises like drawing with your eyes closed, drawing without looking at the paper and continuous line drawing.
2. Easy to access.
The pre-act of mindful art is equally as important as the process itself. So there's two options depending on how you work and how it fits into your daily life. If your sat there thinking I literally have no time to create, think EASY ACCESS. It needs to be something thats just there and you can utilise for 10 seconds or whatever you have spare. Think a whiteboard, a sketchbook in your bag on your train commute, a canvas out on your kitchen side as you do your chores. In the interest of keeping it real heres how i role, art mixed into my daily life of washing up and prepping the boys dinner. Its not glamourous, i dont have a dishwasher and i promise the wine was from the night before😂, but working this way gives me those few moments of art that keep me in check.
If you have more time and a space then make your space work. I will always advocate playing with scale, as adults we often constrain our art to small pieces. So get experimental on large sheets of paper or cardboard boxes, build layers, stand, sit, dance, use all of yourself in your work.
3. Dont be precious
Paint over paint, try again, rework relayer, work over other peoples work. This is about enjoying the process and the more you can relax and realise 'hey its just art, whats the worst that can happen' the more youll relax into it and find yourself developing and find what works for you. The below piece is on rework number 3...i think
So, there you have it. Hopefully that helps in prompting you to just have a go. If you have any questions about suppliers, products or techniques please just ask.
YOUR GUEST CANVAS
I had an absolute blast hosting this art event at this fabulous couples wedding last weekend. It went way beyond my expectations of how much fun the guests would have.
There was nostalgia as guests donned their back to front aprons and reminisced their school days, there was laughter as they gently teased each other over painting skills, there was competition over whose was the best bit, there was conversation as they kept coming back to see how the painting was progressing and there was pride, so much pride for what collectively they had managed to achieve as their gift to the newly weds.
Wait...it gets even more sentimental...
The painting is titled "ripples of life". The newly weds paint the middle section together and their friends and family are invited to paint in the ripples around the centre.
Doubts over painting skills...
So firstly im on hand to guide and advise your guests if they want and secondly I have a crafty tape technique that means your guests just need to paint within the lines. We use proffessional acrylic paints which are very forgiving and a limited colour palette so your guests can easily make a cohesive piece.
I endevour to make sure you'll love it in your home...
We have a consultation beforehand to discuss colours, size and style. This event works best on a large canvas (recommended 1x1m) however if this is too big for your home we can work over smaller canvases that you can either keep, or you can give as gifts to those special to you. After the wedding I take the piece home, touch up any areas that need definition or strengthening, varnish it and get it ready to hang. It is then delivered to you...as a lasting memory of your wedding.
It was honestly a blast and the feedback I received was outstanding. No one is doing this event, so the proffessionals tell me...so if you want to get on board and have something truely unique and special at your wedding do get in touch. 💙
Im based on the Surrey, Hampshire border but am available to travel to neighbouring counties.
In an age of new, there's something quite special about home grown sustainability. So when it comes to a time for whatever reason a tree needs to come down on your property, we've a service that offers just that.
Dan has perfected the art of milling timber on site so he achieves the best result from the timber. Making it the perfect material to add back into your garden design, whether its in the form of borders, a pagola or a piece of bespoke furniture designed and made by Dan. Letting nature sit on the land on which it grew, so no to fire wood and yes to a new purpose.
Brick Lane degree show
Charter Fair May 2018 Haslemere
Denbies handmade 2018
Petersfield christmas market 2018
Surrey open studios june 2019
OKO gallery guilford aug 2019
Reigate Gallery, Reigate
Yard Market godalming
White Horse Haslemere
Gallery40 Brighton. Solo show 2019
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