Through The Workshop Door - July 2019

July has come and gone, and my feet have hardly touched the ground! The month started with a well-deserved holiday on Dartmoor and Devon, and for the rest of the month I’ve been playing catch up!

Highlights this month has been the reunion of the Leather Club chair with its delighted owners. As mentioned previously, the chair has a twin so its sibling has already been stripped down and is eagerly awaiting its rebuild in the Needle Rock workshop. The fabric has also been chosen for the seat cushions, so hopefully in next month’s blog you’ll see the twins together with matching seats!

July has also seen the commission of several furniture painting jobs – these seem to come along like buses – none for ages then several at the same time. The first commission was to give a new lease of life to some bedroom pine cupboards, which were solid, but looked rather dated. My customer had just had the bedrooms decorated and had a colour scheme which she’d acquired from a printed canvas – so I took the printed canvas away and matched the colour scheme accordingly. The results were superb.

The next commission was to update a well-made wooden sideboard from the 1940’s. What a difference a paint job can make! I was given an open brief for this piece of furniture – the only requirements was to change the basic colour from brown to grey. This piece evolved into the finished product as I was able to play with paint finishes across the different surfaces and portions of the cupboard. The front legs are ‘big balls’ which are dowelled into the frame, and the cylindrical door handles terminate in cone-like finials that attach to the door. The finished article is stunning – have a look for yourself at the before and after pictures.

Needless to say, all this painting activity at the workshop caused me to look critically at my own beloved painted Jacobian dresser ‘Jemima’. This was the first dresser I bought when Needle Rock was being set up, and after it was painted I’d decided to keep it for myself. In comparison with the recent commissions it was looking decidedly tatty and in need of a facelift. I’ve opted for an extreme distressed look that reveals much of the underlying oak and gives the piece an almost graphic quality. The dresser now reminds my husband of the illustrations in a copy of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ he read as a boy. Until the next time you peak through the workshop door...

"Needle Rock is a fantastic business and Ali is brilliant. We are currently refurbishing a building into a farm shop and restaurant. Ali has worked with us to reupholster a set of old chairs. From our first phone call through to the delivery today Ali has been on hand throughout, giving great advice and really getting what our vision is for the furniture. The finished seats arrived today and we are absolutely delighted with them - they look fantastic and the work is superb. Thank you Ali - we are over the moon".
Alec Holland

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