Friday, 23 December 2011

Funky Spool Stool

Blogging has taken a back-seat lately, now that Bottoms' End is in full production mode.  A number of projects have been completed, including this commissioned Spool Stool.
For those of you who haven't seen Spool Stools before - the reason they're called this is because the frame of the stool is an upcycled electrical spool... like this...

At this stage Spool Stools are available only by order - cost approx. $350.00 (depending on fabric chosen). In future these will be stock items, available in a variety of fabrics and leg lengths & styles.
Please contact us via the Contact page if you'd like to discuss the infinite possibilities.

Here's one I prepared earlier:

Sunday, 11 December 2011

No Chair Design Campaign

Does the world REALLY need any more new chair designs?
Do you know how many new chairs are designed each year?
Have you noticed that chairs make up a large perecentage of kerbside-collection junk?
Imagine how good it would be for the landfill of the world if a lot less chairs were chucked into it!
Here's a fun campaign aimed at ending new chair design and promoting old chair upcycling. Yay!!
No Chair Design Campaign

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

So-Long Oslo

Some of you may remember a post earlier this year about this commission, 'The Oslo Settee'. Well, it's finally finished and was delivered to its new home overlooking Sydney harbour yesterday. Here it is being tested by its happy owner, John. 
The new cover is a Warwick fabric called Chai Atoll - a modern linen-composite which is a gorgeous bluey-green and delightful to work with. The original upholstery was kept, but the springs re-tied, webbing and padding replaced and legs re-finished (originally they were a dark mahogany). 
A few scatter cushions will be added, in the same Warwick Anthropology fabric as shown.

 Here's what it looked like before work:

This 5 piece modular setting has an interesting provenance. John's parents lived in Oslo in the early days of their marriage, and bought this shortly before moving to Australia in the early 1950's. John's mum says that it was the bees-knees of modern furniture at the time - real cutting edge stuff. The covering was a mossy-green carpet-like fabric (very heavy) and the seams were covered by a glued-on gimp, which as you can see, had largely fallen off. It spent its whole life in the family home at Fairlight (just up the road from its new home) and apart from the cover, was in excellent condition. They don't make frames like this anymore! Nor does meadow-hay get used very often these days as a filling - when I stripped it the smell of a Norwegian summer day 60 years ago spilled out into the studio.

Thanks John, for entrusting me with this - and I hope this re-upholstery job lasts as long as the first!

Monday, 14 November 2011

RAPT! is up and running!

It's been a busy few weeks moving everything back into the workshop, building racks, shelves, & cork/peg/black-boards, re-organising all the long-stored supplies & furniture, but at long last - we're in.
There's still the outside painting and some landscaping to do before we can say it's actually 'finished' but it's just wonderful to have Bottoms' End officially back in production. 
(Please keep your fingers crossed that we don't have another flood like the last one).

There are 2 sections to the workshed: a 'clean' end for fabric work (centred around the big, light-drenched cutting-table) and a 'dirty' one for wood-working.
Miss Snupeson's role as Project Manager has unfortunately become redundant, but after lengthy negotiation she has agreed to take on the role of Customer Service Manager. Here she is waiting at the door to welcome clients.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Creative Womens Circle

I've just discovered this great group: the Creative Womens Circle (CWC - nothing to do with scones or date-loaf!).
The CWC is a website and series of speaker and networking events for women working in creative industries to share information, inspiration & ideas.
It sounds like an excellent way of networking (the blog-osphere at its best I reckon!) and I'm only sorry that at this stage it's Melbourne-centric. However the co-ordinator, Tess McCabe, tells me she has plans for expanding the group into NSW in 2012. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Progress Report 6

Ahh... nearly there.
Interior painting done; floor laying & electrics should be finished today.
Hope to be moving in by end of week!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Progress Report #5

 The work cracked on while I was away - even Miss Snupeson's absence didn't slow it down.

Now that we're both back on the job it shouldn't be too long now before Bottoms' End is back in action.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Kazusampo friends! (Bhutanese for G'day).
I'm just returned from an adventure in this tiny landlocked kingdom, situated at the eastern end of Himalayan range - surrounded on east/south/western sides by India and in north by Tibet. I went with a group of friends to walk a route called 'The Snowman Trek', which is regarded as the longest, hardest, highest commercially available trek in the world. Takes 28 days to complete, including crossing numerous passes over 4,000 & 5,000m in height.
 Unfortunately for me, it was TOO hard - I succumbed early to a combination of altitude sickness and chest infection that made continuing impossible, so I took the only possible 'escape route' option after only 2 weeks of walking. That was pretty sad - waving goodbye to 6 mates who continued the trek without me - but there was an upside....
... because there was a Royal Wedding going on when I eventually made it back to the capital city (Thimpu) and because there is only one international airport in the whole country and because you have to book flights in and out months ahead of time (normally) - it looked like I'd be killing quite a bit of time before I could get a flight out and home.  As it turned out I was lucky, and managed to get a seat only after 4 days waiting... but those 4 days were really well spent.
Because the wedding celebrations (which lasted over those 4 days) were going on in various locations around and in Thimpu, I got a closeup view of the Bhutanese people as they celebrated this much-longed for wedding of their adored king. Not only was he a most handsome chap, his new bride was more beautiful than any woman has a right to be: absolutely stunning.  To top it all - the Bhutanese people have continued to dress in their national costume, which is comprised of absolutely gorgeous hand-woven textiles in glorious colours and designs. I was beside myself looking at the range of fabrics available for sale in local markets and handcraft shops (of which there are many).

So, as you can probably tell by now, much of my time was spent shopping - and I have come home seriously overloaded with kilos and kilos of glorious materials which will of course be put to good use in the Rapt! workroom.  Watch this space!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Diamond button stool

Here's the latest project just finished - a lovely stool with great dimensions - long, low, lots of buttons (54 to be exact) and slender, curvy legs. Its owner picked it up at a garage sale for just $35.  Just goes to show - these wonderful finds are still out there.

Here's Miss Snupeson doing the preliminary inspection:

This is how it looks now after the magic wand treatment.
(legs to be finished by the owner).

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rapt!'s 1st trade show

Santa Fe and me have just attended our first trade show "Furniture in Focus" - a milestone for this fledgling business. It was in Sydney, in the glorious old building - The Royal Hall of Industries - at the old showground site* (now Fox Studios).

Santa Fe was part of the TAFE display, and much to my delight, there were no other whacky chairs in the whole of the exhibition (which tended to the extreme end of conservatisim).  Our patchwork and piecework chairs attracted a lot of attention!

At the risk of boring you all silly, here are yet more pics of Santa Fe - I couldn't resist it with that lovely background (an empty part of the display room) and the slanting light.

There's also a video (slideshow) showing the start to finish upholstery process over on the VIDEOS page.

Santa Fe is for sale - go to the SHOP page if you're tempted!

* the first time I was on this site was when I was a 16 year old groom, working with horses and donkeys - and sleeping above the old wooden stables - during several Easter Shows. Those were the days!
I'm the one on the left; the little cutie is 'Delilah'; no idea who the kiddies are; and that's my Mum slinking off around the corner in the background.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Progress Report #4

 Miss Snupeson is extremely pleased with the progress made since last report a few weeks ago. After a stern word to the builders the pace picked up to her satisfaction, and here's what we're up to at the end of this week.

and here's a reminder of this time last year...

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Santa Fe Chair

Here's the finished wing chair.
 (Refer back 3 few posts to see the "Before" pics - here are the "Afters".)

I used five fabrics from the new Anthropology collection from Warwick -  because of the colouring (ochres/aquas/stone/dark red) and the 'Navajoe' sort of design, I'm calling it  the Santa Fe chair.
The final test: it's beautifully comfy!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

project report #3

After a slightly longer delay than anticipated at last report, (well... we are talking "builder promises" here,) Bottoms' End resurrection is finally up and running - Hooray! 

The work is cracking along at a great pace, and Miss Snupeson is flat-out making sure nothing shoddy slips by the quality-control-monitor.
it's very tiring work for a little doggy

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Alice Chair

I recently refurbished the seat and back of this old bentwood rocker which lives in Alice Springs. 


There are many pleasant surprises in this trade... on this job it was the pile of red dust which fell out of the upholstery as I stripped it prior to recovering. I love the idea of that central Australian dirt mingling with the red dirt here at Jamberoo, and adding to all the other dirt which falls out of the various projects which find their way to Bottoms' End for rest and recuperation. When they leave, they leave behind a little piece of their history...
... a sort of history in dirt.

The chair's owner, Charlie, has done a great job refinishing the frame and reassembling. It's all set now for another 50 years or so of serious rocking.