Commissioning

Jan 2, 2014 in Chris Tribe Blog | No Comments

nest of 5 tables white background copy

I am sometimes given photos of furniture from catalogues and websites, and asked whether I could make one bigger, or smaller, or in oak not pine. The answer is usually yes, but at a price ! A more successful scenario is when a customer-to-be sees a piece of furniture in an exhibition, or on my website, and asks if I could make something similar that would fit their particular requirements.

It’s always very satisfying to revisit a design or an idea and to develop it, either for a particular client or to create a range of furniture. The Circles and Stripes sideboard I made in collaboration with marquetry artist Christine Meyer-Eaglestone is now one of a collection of striking, much-admired pieces which combine a simplicity of form with the complexity of Christine’s marquetry. I was also asked to develop a small set of minimalist drawers into a complete range of bedroom furniture – a very satisfying commission ! It meant that the customer was able to choose what pieces of furniture they wanted, have them made to dimensions which suited the space available and in a wood of their choice; only the basic style remained the same !

My most recent commission to come under the heading of ‘just what the customer ordered’ was for a nest of tables with a difference. We’re all used to the standard ‘three tables in decreasing size’ format, but this customer wanted one large table, coffee-table size, and four small ones of the same size to fit underneath. I came up with a design in maple and walnut, as illustrated in the photo (taken on the workbench before final completion), and will be delivering the piece next week.  I hope the customer will be happy not only to have a unique piece of furniture, but also one that exactly meets his needs.

So, the moral of the tale is that thinking ‘outside the box’ when it comes to furniture is not pie in the sky – if you’re willing to commission something then you can have exactly what you want.

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