Fine Crafted Wood Exhibition returns to New Forest Show | New Forest Show

Fine Crafted Wood Exhibition returns to New Forest Show

Go along to The New Forest Trust Pavilion during this year’s Show and you will see beautiful wooden furniture finely crafted by professionals, talented enthusiastic amateurs (known as TEAS!) and up-and-coming trainees.

There will be an array of original pieces including tables, chairs, light-fittings and drinks cabinets, all lovingly handmade made using timbers from the New Forest and Hampshire.

The former Senior Vice-President of 20th Century Fox, Gary Fergusson, who now lives in Lymington, is one TEA who will have his work on display.

He said: “The piece I’m making for the New Forest Show is a hall table and mirror made with English Cherry Wood from trees that were felled near Winchester in 1995, they’ve been slowly drying ever since! The design was inspired by the shape of lilies, and flares outward towards the top on all faces, which required some novel construction techniques to create the shape from solid timber. I hope people will come along to the show and see this and all the other examples of handmade furniture.

“It’s especially satisfying to craft your own furniture. You can push the designs beyond what would normally be considered sensible for commercial furniture. For example this table is much taller than usual, to the point where it’s verging on becoming unstable. It wouldn’t be a good item for a home with teenage boys or big dogs…but because I’ve got grown up daughters and Chihuahuas I hope it’ll survive family life!”

Gary comes from a family of furniture makers and has been making things from wood since he was a young child, so it felt natural to dedicate his free time to the craft when he took early retirement from a high-powered stressful career.

He was accepted at the highly prestigious Edward Barnsley Workshops near Petersfield in 2014 and spent 18 months there studying furniture making.

Edward Barnsley took over the workshop in 1923 and dedicated his life to designing and making furniture to the highest standards of the English Arts & Crafts movement. Great emphasis continues to be placed on hand work rather than machine production, indeed the workshop wasn’t even connected to the electricity grid until 1955!

Edward Barnsley had been born into a tradition of craftsmanship, his father and uncle had been inspired by William Morris and opened a furniture workshop in 1893. Over the years the workshop has produced many outstanding craftsmen and women, most notably Alan Peters OBE.