Under nav

Newsletter: Spring 2018

Another year is well under way. My show season begins soon, courses are running regularly, there’s a new course chair and there are big changes happening on the farm! European GDPR legislation will soon be with us and this means that I will shortly be contacting you to ask you to confirm that you are happy for me to hold your name and email address on file and to receive newsletters! More about all this below….

Please read on and I hope that your enjoy this newsletter.

Best wishes

New Course Dates

There are now course dates through to the end of the year on the website at: https://thewindsorworkshop.co.uk/chair-making-courses/course-dates-booking-and-prices/

If you wish to take a chair-, or stool-, making course I suggest that you choose the type of chair that you wish to make and then check to see if there is a course with convenient dates. Once chosen, please contact me to check availability.

If you are not familiar with my chairs, why not come along to one of the shows mentioned below and see them in the ‘flesh’!

New Course Brochure available to download

2015 calendar

New Chair – ‘Modern Comb Back’

I have been working on a new chair recently and this is now available to make on a course (September 17-21, 2018). I am calling it the ‘modern comb back’. The shape of the chair incorporates influences from England, Wales, Japan and Australia! I am very pleased with the way that it has turned out and particularly with the shape of the seat. The back is broad and flexible, which makes it comfortable, and the low arm should not interfere with the sitter’s back.

This example is painted with golden ochre milk paint (home made – see my previous Newsletter from January 2017). Chairs made on the course will not be painted (though they could be!) and I will make an unpainted version shortly.

See Me at Craft Shows

My first two craft shows of the season are in April (Sussex Guild – Horsham) and May (Craft in Focus – Wisley). Do please come along. It would be great to see you and you will also find a superb range of other crafts at both events.

FREE tickets are available for the Horsham show – see below

Sussex Guild – Horsham April 7-8

This is just the second year of the show and last year’s was a great success. It is held in the old Sun Alliance building, off the Carfax.

Download free tickets here. I do hope you will be able to come as there will be a wide range of crafts and craftspeople exhibiting.

Craft in Focus – RHS Wisley, May 3-7 (including the first May Bank Holiday)

There will be 200 exhibitors in marquees and it is a great opportunity to visit the fair and explore the gardens at the same time.

Self-catering Accommodation Onsite

We will soon be offering accommodation on-site for students taking chair making courses. No more commuting and a great pub in easy walking distance!

If you have been on a course since December you will know that we have the builders in! We have been in complete chaos with deep trenches across the drive and new foul and rain water drainage being put in. This has been to serve a couple of units of accommodation that we are creating from two old buildings.

We will have ‘The Stables’ and ‘The Old Workshop’. The latter was my original workshop and where I began to run my chair making courses back in 2004! ‘The Stables’ origin is, I think, self-explanatory!

When completed, ‘The Stables’ will offer characterful and comfortable accommodation for a couple (sofa bed for 2 more), while the Old Workshop will be a bedsit for up to two people.

The conversion is going fast, now that all the major external groundworks are completed and we look forward to being able to offer this accommodation to those attending courses (and others) from the autumn onwards.

If you have attended a course you will also be delighted to know that our 33 year old Portalooo is no longer! We will have a warm, clean and purpose built toilet shortly, though I am a little sad, as this was the first thing we added to the farm when we arrived here at the end of 1985!

Big septic tank, even bigger hole!

‘The Stables’ undergoing conversion


You may well be aware that there are new European regulations coming into effect in May about mailing lists. If you receive this by email, then I have your email address and name on file.

I will be sending you a separate email about this in the next few weeks, asking you to confirm that you are happy for me to continue to hold this information and that you are prepared to continue to receive occasional newsletters.

I hope that you enjoy the newsletters and find them interesting. I have no intention of using your information in any other way and will certainly never share it with any other organisation.

Please look out for my email on this subject and take the opportunity to respond, one way or another. I have no wish to send information to anybody that does not wish to receive it, so this will be an opportunity, beyond the option to unsubscribe at any time (see below), to make a choice.

Restoration of an old Windsor Chair

Before Christmas, I was approached by Stuart Warren, an antique dealer from Haslemere, about whether I could help him restore an old chair. He brought the pieces over to the workshop and I found an arm bend and a couple of cabriole legs that I had never used. These were for a similar chair (there’s a whole chapter in my book about it), but I never got round to making it.

Recently Stuart sent me photos of the finished chair and some work in progress shots. I have no idea how to restore chairs myself, being purely a maker, but the end result seems to me to be very impressive!

I was sceptical about the point of restoring a chair in such poor condition, but this exercise has changed my mind. I will not be getting into that field myself, but I have great respect for those that can effect such transformations.

The chair has now been sold!

Stuart’s contact details are as follows:

Stuart Warren
The Ark Stores, Town Car Park, Haslemere
Surrey  GU272HG
01428 641817
Instagram: @thearkstores

Jonathan Squires

Jonathan has been on a number of courses over the years and he recently completed this lovely set of chairs for his daughter. He also made this beautiful rocking horse!

Roger Murphy

Roger has also attended a number of courses and there’s not much left for me to teach him! This contemporary double bow is a stunner, with a black walnut seat and the rest in ash. Superb, Roger!

The plans are available from the website.