A Chest for Dagenham’s White House

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To celebrate the opening of the Dagenham White House, childhood home of British fashion designer and tailor Hardy Amies, we were asked to run a workshop to build a wooden chest to be housed in the new centre, with carved panels inspired by his work and made by those involved with the project. Made over the course of two days, participants individually carved panels relating to the work of the designer.

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Known for making dresses for the Queen to costumes for 2001: Space Odyssey, Hardy Amies became known as a world famous couturier and dressmaker.
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The exhibition about his work runs until Saturday 25th Feb. And the space will continue as a public space for art and community activity. For more information, click here.

Introducing Tim Summers

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After studying Illustration and working as a freelance Illustrator for a couple of years, new member Tim Summers began working for artists and fabricating work for them, which he has now been doing for 10 years. It was during this time that he realised that he loved making things and he wanted to spend more of his time doing this.

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Once graduating from the CASS Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture with a BA in Furniture and Products, Summers proceeded to make various pieces, the one piece that stood out among the rest was his Flip Desk. ‘I designed and made it a couple of years ago but it won the Heal’s Discovers 2016 competition last year.  Heal’s are now producing it and its for sale in their Tottenham Court Road store and online. The brief was to design a piece of furniture that fitted into their Ambrose range, so I used my own experience of compact London living and developed a semi-permanent desk for multi-functional spaces that could be folded away quickly and easily. The process involved developing multiple prototypes and honing each one until I had the right balance of functionality and form.

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He joined Blackhorse after looking for somewhere with a strong community and a good workshop. “Blackhorse is affordable, convenient and has provided a place that I can come to everyday and think, make, experiment, and sometimes even make money. It is the perfect platform at this stage to enable me to work on whatever projects I need to. It’s great to be surrounded by such a busy and enthusiastic community of fellow makers. The café also serves great coffee so it ticks all the boxes!

Tim has currently started working on a commission for a Library in Hampstead and along with 8 months of business mentoring with the Crafts Council under their Hothouse scheme.

If you want to hear more about his work, projects and success with Kickstarer, Tim will be discussing his work at this week’s Show & Tell event on Thurs 2nd Feb from 6pm alongside Wilson Palmer Furniture. All welcome.

Nothing Ventured…

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It’s good to be back. Resolutions are kicking into action as the workshop begins to fill again, with new designs and projects all underway.

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Business as usual for some of our members: reclaimed furniture maker Fay Sebel from La Maison de Furniture is back working on her seemingly never ending production line of beautiful reclaimed wood furniture, student Tianyi Shi works on her latest university project, and weekend regular Carolus Reinecke is building an oak display cabinet for his home.

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If you’ve got something in mind you’ve been hankering to get started with, sign up to one of our inductions on the membership page of our website.Viva La New Year Resolution!

Wrapping up for Christmas

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Thanks to everyone who came down for a mulled wine, and to twist a wreath at our Christmas Market last week. We wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and look forward to a new year of making ahead! We’ll be closed from Christmas Eve, re-opening on the 3rd January, so look forward to seeing you all then.

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Mise-en-Abyme Reappears

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If you’re strolling along the South Bank over the Christmas period, you’ll come across the re-appearance of the stunning Mise-en-abyme by our members De Allegri and Fogale who have re-created the sculpture in a newly commissioned location by the OXO Tower Wharf.

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Conceived originally as an installation for London Design Festival for the bridge over the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at the V&A, it has been adapted to work within its new public setting.

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You’ll be able to catch it up until 20th Feb 2017. For more information about their work, visit deallegrifogale.com

Raised from the Rubble

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Built amongst the rubble of Blackhorse Yard, Lola Lely’s new project: “The Three Lions” was commissioned by Stanhope Schroders for a new mixed use development in Ruskin Square,Croydon. Lely worked with surface designer Stephanie Tudor, experimenting with the colours, details, materials and patterns inspired by the local landscape.

Lely explains:’it’s sad when something has been pulled down, as if trying to eradicate the past, but with this development, it’s history has been reborn into these lions’. The pair turned the old rubble materials from the building site into new materials using eco-resin Jesmonite, which is easy to cast and which allowed them to incorporate bricks, glass and metal shavings, blending them together.

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Not only are they sculpture, they act as seating as well. We felt that sculpture at times can be quite inaccessible – you stand at a distance, look at it and you’re not allowed to get close and touch, which kind of defeats the object of public sculpture… These lions are about giving you permission to touch, climb and do whatever you want.’
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We’re looking forward to seeing other future collaborations from this talented pair…

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Tumbling Tables

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Some stunning tables left the workshop last week, the creation of furniture maker Jack Relton, headed for Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick.

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Jack rescued over 75 pallets from surrounding industrial units to the workshop, re-purposing them to create these stunning table top inlays using 3 different classic geometric designs – including the tumbling block pattern to reference a tumbling crate. The table legs were designed and fabricated using mild steel box section welded together. Jack is taking commissions, so if you’re interested drop him a line. All is details can be found on our members directory page here.

Pumpkin Panic

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A  great turnout on Saturday as we hosted Pumpkin Panic – an alternative pumpkin team carving game, where every round involved carving a different feature, before passing it along the line for its next alteration.

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With a fantastically spooky music set  from these two characters…

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And a grand indestructible horse head pinata finale! From next year with our new education space we’ll be hosting regular kids Saturday workshops, so if you’re interested, then drop us a line.

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..and so till next year.

And it begins!

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We’re pleased to announce that work has just begun on our new yard building and education space. Design and architecture collective Assemble are back to work their magic to juggle small budgets and big ambitions to create a new street fronting cafe & events space in our yard.

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Freeing up the existing cafe space will allow us to set up a new education & teaching space in our main building where we’ll be running new courses, hosting daytime workshops for groups, Saturday workshops for kids, and the ability to extend our bench space at busy times. Funded through the Mayor of London’s High St Fund  and thanks to the London Borough of Waltham Forest  your workshop will be changing as you know it! So despite appearances, it will be business as usual for the next couple of months. After just 2 years in the making, this marks an exciting next step for the workshop, and demand showing that making is here to stay!

Wooden Matters

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It came and went in a whirlwind, but our week of events and workshops for London Design Festival in collaboration with Ma-tt-er brought together a fantastic mix of designers and researchers working with wood. We kicked off with talks by author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, Rob Penn,  hearing all about his journey to create as many objects as possible from a single ash tree.

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There were workshops exploring the process of kerfing with Lola Lely, natural wood dyeing with indigo thanks to textile designer Hazel Stark, and innovative joinery with waste plastics from Micaella Pedros.

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Wrapping up with an evening of music from The Drones. Looking forward to doing it all again next year…

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