Furniture for Books

I made this unit for a flat on Moray Place in the New Town of Edinburgh. The vertical supports for the shelves are made with Black Walnut, as are the sides of the cupboards.

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The cupboard doors are veneered with Lacewood in four panels that mirror each other.

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I used 30mm-thick oak for the shelves to give it strength and a solid settled appearance.

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I’ve also made a few stools for an upholsterer based in Edinburgh who wanted traditional Scottish stools made with Scottish wood. The frames are Scottish beech, and the legs are hand-turned from Scottish elm.

Next thing I’m doing is exhibiting at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, where I’ll be displaying hand-turned lamps and boxes made of Scottish wood. Then I’ll be starting on some Pitch Pine library shelving for a house in Trinity, in Edinburgh.

Walnut Dresser

These cupboards and shelves I made from walnut for some folk in Stockbridge.  At three metres high and two metres wide it’s a big piece of furniture which suits the high ceilings.

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I made a matching desk for a home office, with a desk-space that folds out.

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One of the stranger things I did this month was to fix a support round a room for a model train to whizz round. It had to be very level to suit the engine. I’ll try and get a photograph of the finished line!

September and October

The autumn has brought some lovely days at the workshop and I’m looking forward to some frosty mornings.

I’ve finished various projects including a console table, a mirror, and a stationery box, and I’ve been designing some furniture I’ll be making in the new year. I’ve also been making new lamps, boxes and chopping boards for Christmas markets in November and December.

I made this console table and matching mirror for a flat in the New Town:

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They are made from Scottish elm I found at Scottish Wood in Dunfermline. I was pleased to have found this piece of elm, as it has a great depth of colour and movement in the grain.

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I made a writing box for a customer who likes writing letters and has a large colelction of postcards. This writing box fits an A4 notepad in the bottom, and the upper tray compartments are designed for postcards and stationery. The outside of the box is made from figured Scottish oak and the inside is made from figured Scottish elm.

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I also made an elm frame for an 1852 map of Leith. And in present day Leith I’ve been framing and fitting a kitchen and raising a ceiling.

I’m now regularly exhibiting at Stockbridge market on the second Sunday of every month. I’ll be at quite a few of the Christmas craft and design fairs in Scotland, with lamps, boxes and chopping boards. On the 17th and 18th of November I’ll be at Flock in Banchory, I’ve been going for a few years and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends.

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On the 1st and 2nd of December I’ll be at the Glasgow Christmas Craft, Art and Design Fair at the Royal Concert Hall and on the 8th and 9th of December I’ll be at the Edinburgh Christmas Craft, Art and Design Fair at the Assembly Rooms.

And in the new year I’ll be working on two large combined bookcases and cabinets which I’ve designed for houses in the New Town and Stockbridge.

July and August 2018 – a Wardrobe, a Chest of Drawers, and some Wee Things

The last couple of months I have been busy in my Edinburgh workshop making a door, a wardrobe, boxes, lamps, and a chest of drawers.

I made a matching wardrobe and chest of drawers for some folk in Milngavie – here they are completed._N7A2256

All the wood came from two different Scottish oak trees, one for the frames and another for the door panels and drawer fronts. I finished them with a hard-wearing oil which is great at bringing out the warm rich colours in oak.

In other news, I made a door to replace one that had been removed in the 1920s from an old house in Galashiels. It is an exact copy of the existing doors right down to the placement of the door handle and the size of the hinges.

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To even things out I made a window for a flat in Leith, refurbished some sash-and-case windows, and put in some panelling. I’ll be making fitted furniture in birch ply for this flat as well.

I have started regularly exhibiting at Stockbridge market in Edinburgh, I’m there on the second Sunday of each month. I’ve been working on new keepsake boxes, jewellery boxes and lamps which I will have with me when I’m next there on the 14th of October.

I’m excited about the projects I will be completing in the next two months, they include an elm console table and matching mirror for a flat in the Edinburgh New Town, a stationery box in oak and elm and a keepsake box with secret compartments.

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I have also been on my summer holidays, I spent a week in Kishorn with friends and my dog walking around Applecross and Torridon. I’m looking forward to seeing the highland autumn colours in the next few months.

 

June 2018 – From the Garden to Venice and Pakistan

This month I’ve been doing a few smaller jobs and making boxes to exhibit at the Scone Game Fair this weekend. I’ve also been starting a large standalone wardrobe and matching chest of drawers for some customers in Milngavie.

I mounted a Venetian ceramic bust onto burr oak for a customer in Glasgow, shortened a Pakistani table to fit an Edinburgh customer’s garden, and made an allotment bench for two keen vegetable-growers.

The table was an interesting piece of work. The customer had bought the ornate carved garden table while living in Pakistan, and when she moved to Edinburgh she managed to bring it with her. The only problem was that the table was huge – 3m long – and was too large for the garden. So my job was to shorten it and touch it up after its travels.

I completely dismantled the table, shortened the curtain, glued all the legs back together, and shortened the table top, removing two sections so that I could keep the three carved sections. Once back together I sanded the table back to the bare wood (as the top layer had been silvered) and oiled it to bring out the colour of the natural wood and to help it survive the Scottish weather. Here are some before-and-after photos.

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I’m exhibiting lamps and boxes at the Scone Game Fair this year, which I’m very much looking forward to – here are some photos of the box-making process:

 


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I’ve also been starting work on a standalone wardrobe and chest of drawers for some customers in Milngavie. This will be most of my work in July, a lovely job and I found some perfect wood for it at Scottish Wood in Dunfermline (a great place to find beautiful pieces of kiln-dried hardwood).

To finish off, a bonus-picture of Gracchus and the 120cm-high gate I made to contain him that he can apparently easily jump.

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May 2018 – Craft Fairs and a Ladder

This month I’ve been hitting the craft fairs selling lamps and chopping boards. It’s been great meeting folk and other makers, and getting to travel around a bit. Gracchus got to try out the beginning of the West Highland Way in Milngavie, and here’s my stall:

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I’ve been to the makers market in Milngavie, and the Urban Market in Glasgow, and coming up are the West End Makers Market in Glasgow and the Scone Game Fair

The rest of the time I’ve been in Edinburgh making a very tall ladder from Douglas Fir. It now leads up to a high bed in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. Here’s my jig for routing the joints for the treads, and a picture of roughing out the curved hand-rails.

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And here’s the ladder getting nearer completion and Gracchus and Jess appreciating it.

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January to March 2018

Memorial Bench

I was commissioned to design and make this memorial bench for the Woodend Barn Arts Centre in Banchory, Aberdeenshire. It’s made of Scottish oak and treated with teak oil. I designed it in an angular way to contrast with the landscape around Woodend Barn, and made the legs form part of the seat to give a sense of continuity. I cut, dimensioned, joined, assembled and oiled it in early January in my workshop at Newbattle Abbey. I’ll probably always associate this bench with watching the mad antics of my dog in the snow over too many cups of coffee with my co-workers.

 

Yew Lamp

This lamp was commissioned by an Edinburgh customer to match a lamp made by the owner’s grandparent so there was a pair to go on each side of a bed. It is made of Yew which darkens over time when exposed to sunlight, which is why there is such a difference in colour between the lamps.

Hand-turned Lamps

These lamps were hand-turned meaning that each one is unique. I used oak and elm and chose the timber for its colour and figuring which really comes to life when it is lit.  Some of the lamps have one or more circular inlays in the base. This is a technique I developed and as far as I know is unique to my work. I’m selling these throughout the year at makers’ fairs.

 

Bathroom Cabinet

I made this wall-mounted cabinet from Scottish elm and Scottish oak for the shelves and back. The panels on the door are book matched so they are a mirror image of one another – this is one of my favourite techniques in cabinetmaking.  The dark figuring on the door panels is called crotch wood and is formed where the tree branches. This wood is very dense and can have a lot of depth and colour.

 

Mirror

I made this mirror from Scottish elm. The top right corner is book matched meaning there is a line of symmetry along the join.

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