It’s always exciting starting a new project and I have had an idea for a very long time, but to execute it I needed at least 6 chairs with oval backs – which were proving rather elusive.
Wind back a few months though and a friend of mine had hired the upstairs of a lovely local pub so that a bunch of us could get together for a pre Christmas meal. When I took my son for a pee, I noticed a stack of chairs in the corridor that looked like they were going to be thrown out, they were ripped and torn with peeling varnish, but most importantly with oval backs!
They looked like really well made chairs and I thought they had a lovely shape. So thinking “If I don’t ask, I’ll never know” I approached the pub manager and asked if indeed they were being thrown out. I went back a couple of days later after he had spoken to the owner and purchased 6 of them for a very reasonable price.
I then totally stripped them back ( I was quite surprised to see they had been upholstered using horsehair) and have been sanding them down these past few days ready to be stained a little darker and oiled for a perfect finish. But it was only when I started stripping down the seats that I came across the makers mark – well blow me down they were Benchairs!!
Anyone who has followed my work will know how obsessed I have been with Benchairs for quite a while now. I first came across them 3 years ago when the lady in the studio upstairs swapped me one (that she used to sit outside her studio and have a fag on!) for a comfy office chair, I looked into them and have since bought 10 in various stages of disrepair and have put my own PGV take onto them.
I know my new ones are completely different stylistically but I was just so delighted that I had bought something extremely well made and with a great British provenance. Will post pictures of the finished chairs in a bit.