design guild mark
In 2012 I was awarded a Design Guild Mark for my Devon chair, which is in production at Sitting Firm Chairmakers.
Each year the The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers (the furniture industry's Livery Company) makes a small number of these awards 'to reward excellence in the design of furniture in volume production.
They say :
By the award of the Guild Mark the designers receive due recognition, and the industry is made more aware of the importance of investment in design. It marks and rewards the work of the finest designers working in Britain and the best of British designers working abroad. Numbered Design Guild Marks are awarded to the designers of pieces or ranges of furniture in volume production for retail or contract sale which are judged to achieve excellence in respect of the criteria.'
The development of this chair had its beginnings in a Bodging Project event put on in 2011 by Carl Clerkin, William Warren, and myself, which we called The Great Windsor Chair Race. This took place at the invitation of Sarah James, the organiser of the Contemporary Craft Festival in beautiful Bovey Tracey in Devon. The 'race' was an ad hoc demonstration of experimental Windsor chair making, to see who could make the most, or the most interesting chair during the three-day event. (William won - on quantity of course.)
One of my pieces was this chair. My idea was to make a wide, low, comfortable chair, suitable for relaxing rather than dining, but generally of the Windsor type - that is - a chair whose legs and back spindles fit securely into a solid seat. As we didn't have a steam bender on site the back bow was laminated from thin strips, and to save time on shaping the seat it was made, cut into three, angled, and glued back together again to create a slightly hollowed form.
Then in 2015, to complete the refurbishment of their Livery Hall the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers included a pair of ebonised Devon chairs in their reception area : Bodging goes Establishment!
The occasional table is by Mark Gabbertas.