Wooden Tie

The photos (incidentally) were done for various ‘Meet the Designer’ type features in interior design magazines.

Not so! It was the brainchild of Zolt, our Hungarian master craftsman who has been with us about 7 years. These days he has a jet set Fly in-Fly out lifestyle where he spends half his time tending his vineyard in Budapest and Lake Ballaton, and half his time working flat out in the workshops. When he’s here he gets totally focussed on brilliant design and manufacturing techniques for hardwood furniture, but he also has the long, lonely nights to contend with (unless it’s Morrison’s night of course).

So his idea last year was to produce a handmade elm tie for Kenny, for the rare occasions when he scrubs up for something. In the end it took Zolt about ten times as long as he thought it was going to and he wished he’d never started (please, please don’t order one, he begs). It looks great though, as you can see in this photo of Kenny, Claire and Fudge taken before Hamish was born.

LA Story

He met some of the local movers and shakers and made it back in one piece, despite his gruelling 4 hour ordeal with his hardwood whisky boxes at customs on the way in. Not only that, he even managed to get his hands on some photographs to prove to the taxman that it was indeed a genuine business trip and he didn’t just go to Disneyland.

Top marks to Moji and Ewan for pulling out all the stops for the event. Red carpet, piper, champagne (and whisky of course), kilts, tuxedo clad caterers, valet parking, a little rope thing to keep out gatecrashers – the full VIP treatment. Kenny did a grand job representing the zenith of Scottish hardwood craft and design – of course coming from Fairlie he’s well used to brushing shoulders with judges, congressmen, mayors and the like…just go down the Mudhook on a Friday night and you’ll get all that.

A few of the photos below, note some of the Fairlie Furniture pieces – the big oak boardroom table for the whisky company and the curved nautical elm wardrobe are amongst them.

Photos always welcome

It’s great when our customer’s take some shots of their piece of furniture in situ and send them into us. It’s always far better seeing a piece of our work in the context of the environment it has been designed for rather than an image of it sitting in the workshop.

It’s even better when a professional photographer sends us a couple of shots they’ve taken. So a massive thanks to Interior Photographer Douglas Gibb Photography ( http://www.douglasgibb.co.uk ) for sending us these. They were taken by Douglas for an article for Ideal Home Magazine done by his wife Alison who runs Scottish Interior Design Blog ( http://www.her-indoors.com )

Stunning shots, and a prime example of how well a hardwood table (in this case a handmade elm dining table) can add a colourful statement in a room which is otherwise very pure, white and minimalist. In fact the beauty of the wood really gets drawn out when it isn’t fighting for attention with a load of other items of interest.

In such a big space it would be very easy for a table to be dominated – however because it is such a sturdy piece, it stands well on it’s own despite the fact it’s been matched up with some much more delicate chairs (those aren’t ours).

So many thanks for the images – feel free to send us some in if you own a Fairlie Furniture piece and can wield a camera!

This week @ FF – 28th Sept 2012

One of the pieces that was produced recently in the workshops, but delivered this week and Graeme (the craftsman who built it) took some really nice photos of it on his iPhone which show off the details. Always better to see a piece in the home it’s going to rather than our showroom, as the lighting isn’t that great in the showroom for photos.

Built to the customer’s specific design (Colin from Dalry). It’s a large 10 seater dining table made from pippy elm. The wood is full of character, and there’s a lovely mix of different tones – creamy but warm looking with swirling grains. A beauty.

The construction is what’s known as ‘V-Board’. You can see that the elm boards on the table surface have been slightly routered and sealed prior to being jointed together. This creates some definition between the planks rather than having a completely flat tabletop.

I have to admit, when I first saw the photos I had to ask ‘Is that a coffee table?’. What a wally, imagine trying to have a conversation or watch the telly with a big table like in the middle of the room. No, I think our Graeme took some of the photos as the guys were manhandling the beast through the living room on the way to the dining room. You can see some of the features in the different light. So the photo of the table below left is it sitting in situ whilst the photo below right is it in the living room.

Flyer for ‘Luxury from Scotland’

Duncan Taylor put together a flyer for the event, as well as the grand opening of their new luxury shop (or should I say ‘Store’ – it is in America after all). Special guests flying out to represent Scotland are Kenny, another furniture designer Maurice Geddes from Huntly up in the north east of Scotland, and artist Ian Gray who specialises in paintings of distilleries.

The store is at 1020 Mission Street, South Pasadena. The Google Map is below, we think it’s the shop that in the Google Street view is boarded up. Not after Wednesday!

Here’s the information from the flyer that’s got the discerning lovers of all things Scottish ( high quality hardwood furniture included ) asking for tickets to the opening event;

Duncan Taylor Whisky recently commissioned leading Scottish furniture designer Kenny Donaldson to create a range of inspirational furniture for whisky lovers.

The range has more than just a hint of whisky – it’s whisky through and through. Casks from Duncan Taylor’s very own bottlings have been incorporated into the designs, and the end result is furniture which makes a dramatic and unique statement.

Situated in the west coast of Scotland, Fairlie Furniture specialise in custom building individual pieces crafted from native hardwoods. It is a family business started by Kenny’s father Jim. His original inspiration was a desire to recover windblown trees, and use the wood to create furniture of distinction.

As Kenny puts it,

“It’s the unpredictable Scottish weather which creates the incredible character in the grain of our wood. The climate produces wood which is complex, distinctive and unique. In that respect it’s very much like a fine whisky.”

From his workshop in the hills overlooking the Clyde, Kenny uses his design experience to best realise the beauty of this wood. Graduating with a degree in product design from Caledonian University in 1995, he has gone on to establish himself at the forefront of Scottish furniture design. His work has featured in numerous interior design magazines and journals.

Bespoke Burr Elm Sideboard

This elm sideboard was built order to match a burr elm dining room table which had previously been purchased by the customer. The moral of the story being that when you are ordering bespoke furniture you don’t have to get it all built in one go.

One of the challenges for the team is to try and colour match the wood as closely as possible. This is true when you are building a larger piece of furniture as well as whan you are building multiple items for the same room at different times. Elm comes in a variety of different shades, in this case it the wood used is a very deep, rich brown colour.

The customer selected the fittings in this case, they are brass and a reset into the drawers and cabinet doors. As with all our custom built furniture, we use the very best quality soft close sliders for the drawers.

You’ll notice in the photos below that the photographer dressed the sideboard with a large, deep burr elm bowl. These are hand turned by local craftsmen and women, we can supply these and hope to have them orderable in the online shop before too long.

Boardroom Table and Chairs

There have been times where the furniture we’ve produced has bordered on art – and to fair this is one of those times. This is a stunning custom made oak table and chair set which was produced to be a boardroom table for a Whisky company. The company, Duncan Taylor Whisky Ltd, has an outlet in Pasadena California which sells very high end luxury Scottish goods, this table is a permanent feature there.

This piece has more than just a hint of whisky – it’s whisky through and through. Casks from Duncan Taylor’s very own bottlings have been incorporated into the designs, and the end result is furniture which makes a dramatic and unique statement. The casks feature in both the centrepiece of the table and in the construction of the chair arms.

The chairs have been individually built, they are upholstered using leather from the same company who supply Aston Martin the leather for their cars. Distinctive design, a real triumph for Kenny and the team.

Bespoke Occasional Elm Chair

The curved construction of it means that it is sprung – so whilst not exactly a rocking chair, it eases you into it and is extremely comfy even without cushions. I have to say, if that was my living room and my sea view I’d be using it more than occasionally!

For completeness you can see some more images below which show the rest of the room. The waney edged elm coffee table was also a bespoke piece created by us, the customer (who’s a famous song writer, but we’ll keep him anonymous here) had the engraved pewter plate which he wanted incorporated into the centre.

He also had a matching free-standing elm cabinet built, as you can see from those images the team has used the natural curves of the wood to create a gap between the doors which you use to open it. So no handles. The feedback we got on that was that the customer loved it but it kept distracting him when he was watching the TV as he liked looking at it so much.

From a a design point of view this set of photos demonstrates just how stunning natural hardwood furniture looks in a room where the rest of the colour scheme has been kept deliberately light and neutral.

Bespoke Elm Wardrobe

With sweeping curves and interlocking elm slats, it is tensioned with a stainless steel yacht rigging screw. This bespoke elm wardrobe, built to order and shipped to America, where it is on permanent display in the ‘Luxury in Scotland’ shop in Pasadena, California owned by Duncan Taylor Whisky Ltd.

Designed to be a feature piece for a bedroom, it’s very tactile and truly realises the beauty of the elm which has been used to carefully craft it. A lovely piece of furniture.