We make a lot of one off-pieces for people at Titchmarsh & Goodwin but this challenge was just a little different. Our clients had to have two much-loved trees – one oak and one chestnut cut down in their garden as they were bordering on dangerous. Rather than using the wood for fuel, they took it to a local sawmill where it was cut, dried and seasoned for about two years.
They then saw an advert for T&G in Oxford Today magazine and got in touch to see whether we would be able to make a whole collection of furniture for them. Mark from our drawing office and John from the cabinet shop were despatched to look at the wood and the house and see what we could do. The house was built during the Arts & Crafts era, so furniture was designed with some Arts & Crafts flourishes which would fit the interior well.
Mark took up his pencil and drew up a selection of furniture including a bed, a dining table, a hexagonal coffee table which was going to accommodate a distinctive piece of marble that the clients had.
The set also included a circular kitchen table, a coffee table with a natural edge to the top, a fireside coffer, two nests of three tables, a hi-fi cabinet, an elegant side-table and sideboard, plus two bedside cabinets and a set of dining chairs. Many of the pieces have a shallow arch detail drawn into the cupboard doors, aprons, table legs and pedestals and aside from that were simpler than perhaps Titchmarsh & Goodwin furniture is usually known for.
During the design process, the clients visited our design office to work through the designs and to make sure that they were getting exactly what they wanted.
The drawings then went into our workshop, where new templates were cut and then the component pieces of chestnut were cut, ready to be assembled. While the cabinet shop is primarily used to working with oak, working with chestnut proved to be a refreshing and at some times challenging experience.
Some of the pieces were delivered just before Christmas with the rest of them leaving our workshops last week. Here’s a selection of the finished pieces.