Medieval inspired woodwork displayed in the most perfect medieval house.
2015 marks 20 years that I have been a professional woodworker. To celebrate I have been offered a very special opportunity to show my work in the most perfect environment. Haddon Hall in Derbyshire is a simply incredible survival, a medieval manor house with the best surviving Tudor kitchens in the country.
The collection of early oak furniture is simply mindboggling and for me totally inspiring. I first visited nearly 20 years ago and return regularly. Here are a few photos to give a feel for the place. Lets start in the kitchens, most of these photos are old, these are my children Ollie and Jojo, we just celebrated their 18th and 21st birthdays. The kitchens however have not changed much in the last 450 years.
There is fantastic old furniture everywhere. I love the freedom of the construction and carving.
Look closely at the detail here. Whenever I see folk making “replicas” of this sort of thing it is always so uptight and over controlled, I love the freedom of this carving.
Doors of a medieval dole cupboard.
Now here is a very cool example of old woodwork. The moulding on the top of this pew was clearly planed before the wood was completely dry. The construction is however designed to work with movement and is still solid centuries later, the movement gives it life somehow.
Just look at the hewn edge on this huge board and the huge trestle.
It is always the detail that inspires me when I go around Haddon.
The place that inspires me most has to be the kitchens and pme room off the side that was used for butchery. Just check out this huge section through a tree crotch turned into a cutting bench and see the massive dug out trough to the right.
This however is the piece that is most inspiring me. I’ll not be copying it directly but I am making new work inspired by it and also incorporating much more modern ideas, I’ll be using skills and tools from my various travels including Romania and Japan to make completely new traditional woodwork. I am very excited.
The show runs at Haddon from September 7th to 1st November.