A huge thank you to everyone that made Saturday’s birthday party such a fantastic night. We danced, we ate, we drank and we finally met the dinotastic Four-o-saurus.
We couldn’t have done it without you but special thanks must go out to WheelUp Sound system for getting everyone up dancing, Walthamstow Dogs for the best hot dogs in town, Lua Garcia for the amazing cake, our neighbour Peter for the cracking jerk chicken, Toby from Pulse Studios for the Four-o-saurus soundtrack, Adam Vaudin for the super cool posters and flyers, all the Blackhorse volunteers who helped on the bar and setting up (and tidying up!), the kids for painting our Dino and all the local community and members for supporting the workshop.
Our very own Workshop Manager Rob Fawcett built the wine shelving and benches at Forest Bar and Kitchen. The good people at Forest Wines have spent the last seven months turning a former estate agent adjacent to their shop into a beautiful new wine bar and restaurant. Working with a giant piece of London Plane, Rob helped transform it into a sharing table by building bespoke steel legs. Additional benches and bars were made with the remaining wood sitting on a steel frame. Drop by for a wine with some nduja fried bread and admire the décor.
And if that’s not enough, designer and member Odel Jeffries has just finished building the bar for Wildcard’s latest brewery at Lockwood Way. Using key clamp scaffolding poles and boards with the help of our resident technician Enrique Melin, the 4.6m long bar began to take shape last week, another example of how building local relationships helps keep our little community growing. Wildcard will be having a grand opening this Saturday 3rd March, so pop by, grab a beer and check out Odel’s handiwork.
We did it! Waltham Forest has been announced as the first ever London Borough of Culture 2019 by Mayor Sadiq Khan.
We were thrilled to be joined by the WF Culture team for the live stream at the workshop as the announcement was made this morning from City Hall.
Waltham Forest will receive over £1.3m of funding to deliver a range of projects over 2019 including a light installation called Molecules in the Marshes on the marshes, a Hitchcock festival, the UK’s largest high rise mural as well as investment in young people and career development within the creative industries. A steering group including Blackhorse Workshop’s Creative Director Harriet Warden presented their bid in December last year with the backing of over 14,000 Waltham Forest residents. Brent was also announced as the Borough of Culture for 2020.
The mayor said, ‘Huge congratulations to Waltham Forest and Brent for their superb bids. I know that both will deliver a programme of work that will benefit residents and make the whole city proud. I am particularly happy to see both bids have placed such importance on young people. It’s vital that young people get access to culture, regardless of their background, so that they can aspire to be our performers, artists, entrepreneurs and cultural leaders of the future.’
Justine Simons Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries and Councillor Clare Coghill returned from City Hall to the Workshop with the award this afternoon to be greeted by the press and the team behind the bid. Well done Waltham Forest, 2019 promises to be a great year for the borough. Look out for announcements of exciting projects over the next few months.
Long ago in the dim and distant past there was an empty warehouse, a dirty yard, some old machinery and an enthusiastic bunch of makers who built a workshop.
Unbelievably now it’s time to celebrate our 4th birthday…so SAVE THE DATE for Saturday 10th March as we prepare for a night of revelry to mark this occasion. We’re looking forward to some musical mischief with live music from band King Hutch with DJs throughout the night courtesy of Dubroot, Bring the Beat Back and Vital Sound. Don’t miss the big reveal as we kick start proceedings at 7.30pm in spectacular fashion. And what’s more its free – and everyone welcome, so hope you can join us.
As usual we will be building a suitably fantastical structure to mark the occasion, and are calling for young hands to make light work of it. So on Saturday 3rd March we’ll be hosting a special afternoon activity for kids to get involved in bringing this magnificent FOUR-A-SAURUS to life…..click here to sign up for your ticket.
Blackhorse members Lola Lely and Laura Anderson have just been announced as the William Morris Gallery’s artists in residence for 2018. Lola, a multi-disciplinary designer/maker with a particular interest in using plants and other natural materials and Laura, a sculptor and professional woodcarver share a studio at the workshop. Laura has also recently started a Woodcarving for Beginners course at Blackhorse.
It was perhaps inevitable that a collaboration between the artists was on the cards. The joint residency came about when Laura and Lola’s use of traditional techniques shared a similar working process to the practices of William Morris. This unique opportunity will bring together their respective skills in design, textiles, woodcarving, drawing and modelling in new ways.
They will engage with the public with workshops and demonstrations that will celebrate the work and influence of William Morris but with a contemporary and local focus.
“Using the extensive archive collection of woodblocks, tapestries, textiles, stained glass and wallpapers as a starting point, we will experiment with different ways of using traditional processes – including carving, painting, casting and glasswork – to create a new set of handmade Morris-inspired designs in colours and objects which reflect something of the vibrant community of Walthamstow today.”
We look forward to following their journey over the coming months and sharing more details.
Furniture maker Herb Palmer has been working with Homeslice Pizza on their newest restaurant, creating a glorious feast of burnt Douglas fir and steel. Their partnership began through the synergy of mutual homelands and friendships. Herb explains, ‘I first met Ry Jessup, who started Homeslice, in 2015 or 2016. He is another Kiwi and when you come from that tiny island the whole ‘six degrees of separation’ theory can be whittled down to about two degrees.’
After graduating from The Cass, Herb started a furniture design business with Uni friend Thom Wilson, working from Blackhorse Workshop, it was at this time that he reconnected with Ry. ‘A few weeks after meeting him, Ry got in touch about getting me to make a new table base for their table that was falling apart. I did that in an evening and from there more work started trickling in.‘
Clearly happy customers, Herb started making birch plywood pizza boards then oak tables, working up to a copper bar and then the courtyard seating area at the Old Street branch. In 2017 Thom moved to Brighton and Herb decided to go it alone.
‘Homeslice City quickly followed the Old St project and was my first solo undertaking. I think it was a bit of a leap of faith on the part of Ry and his business partners to give me the job – but I guess I had earned enough trust by that point.‘
Benefitting from the multi-talented members of Blackhorse Workshop, Herb joined forces with his fellow makers and set to work creating and delivering the main fit out with architects Path. The restaurant features simple and contemporary furniture which also manages to feel nostalgic, a modern take on an old diner classic. Booths made with Valchromat seating and burnt Douglas Fir tabletops sit alongside curved banquettes, functional and fun steel pizza box dispensers are suspended over the gantry.
With several projects are on the horizon, (and not just with Kiwis), Herb Palmer has a busy year ahead which he credits to word of mouth, but also the work clearly speaks for itself.
Just to ensure excitement levels are kept high during this bleak midwinter, we’re celebrating Burns Night at the workshop on Thursday 25th January. Join us for a ceilidh with dancing, haggis and all round revelry. Tickets £20, and dress code strictly tartan (!), so hold onto those xmas scarves and socks…See you on the workshop dance floor.
Blackhorse Member Jack Relton has been at it at again, with his signiture geometric designs. You may remember a post on the website we did in November 2016 about the tumbling tables he made for Crate Brewery– which you can read here – and this time, he has made these double wardrobes for a client constructed from birch plywood, featuring geometric marquetry doors.
“I made these double wardrobes using a geometric marquetry technique that I’ve been tinkering with for a few years. I’ve experimented with all sorts of raw materials: mild steel, reclaimed pallet slats, copper, brass, planed hardwoods. And I’ve tried out various processes: using jigsaws, chop saws and CNC machines; along with different concoctions of resins, fillers and oils.”
“I have found myself using birch ply for more and more projects. The rigidity and clean lines make it a pleasure to work with, and I like the light, airy tone of the wood. On past projects I used an assortment of wood species. The varied tones, hues and patterns created an interesting effect when arranged together. For this project, I have tried to recreate a subtler vertion of that variegation using just one material. I cut all the triangles from the sheet in the same orientation, so that the grain runs in one direction. When the pieces are then arranged into a repeating geometric pattern, the light catches the grain at different angles. Each triangle takes on a slightly different tone, giving the impression of depth and texture, and causes the doors to subtly shimmer as you walk across the room. The marquetry pieces were laser cut for this project. The slight charring from the laser along the cut lines creates the illusion of a fine shadow gap between the pieces.”
Jack has most recently been working on a birch ply dressing table for another client, which, of course featured more geometric marquetry and we’ve seen glimpses of it in the Workshop and the shapes he has pulled are looking ‘on point’. You can keep up to date with Jack’s designs via his instagram account at @jack_relton_design.
The festive season is upon us and boy do we have a treat for you that could give Santa a run for his money! If you’re not feeling festive yet, you will be at the end of this post. Here’s what we have lined up this season.
The final Showcase exhibition at SIDESHOW called Makers Presents, will continue the theme of games and play on a big scale in homage to the enormously popular giant marble run. This exhibition has transformed SIDESHOW into a sparkling celebration of creativity, with giant suspended “glitter tool” decorations made by Rebecca Philips and fairground style games.
The annual Blackhorse Workshop Christmas Market will take place at SIDESHOW this THURS 6TH DEC. Discover gifts and products by local designers and makers. As ever there will be an impressive range of materials and craftsmanship on show from leatherwork by Made of a Kind, to illustrations by Jenny Robbins, and terracotta homeware to wooden toys. From 5pm-9pm, come and feast your eyes and make some great purchases.
The market isn’t the only opportunity to find unique Christmas gifts because you can come and give “The Nifty Gifter” a spin. A wheel-of-fortune style game that helps you select the right present from a loved one from an array of high quality products made from some of Blackhorse Workshop’s profilic makers including, beautiful wooden bowls by Dusty Waters and little house incense burners by Herb Palmer Furniture, the infamous ‘Wobbly Peyote’ by Tim Summers and hexagonal tealight holders by [M]odel Maker. If you’re still undecided, you can give our lucky dip a try for just £3!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without festive activities too. You can bring the kids along to a ceramic tile tree decoration workshop next week or to our xylophone making workshop on Sat 16th Dec. For the adults, come and join us and Stow Film Lounge for an outdoor screening for the Christmas comedy Bad Santa on Thurs 14th Dec, stocked with mulled cider, street food and popcorn.
To mark this first day of advent, we’re presenting, The Nifty Gifter, designed to take the panic out of your Christmas Shopping. Spin the wheel to match makers product to friend type. Then simply pay for your gift, and walk away happy!
This genius game alongside a Lucky Dipand Make-O-Meterthat tests your strength as a maker (are you a Champion Chiseler or Rookie Router?) are all on display at our pop up Sideshow until the 23rd December.
And if you fancy a stress free Christmas shop, then come along to our Christmas Makers Market, next Thursday 7th December from 5-9pm also at Sideshow. Mulled Wine and Hot Dogs on tap to keep you suitably nourished.