From 7th September – 1st November, the Hall will be showcasing the exquisite work of wood turner, Robin Wood. This exhibition celebrates 20 years of professional woodworking for Robin, who was named Artisan of the Year 2009. Based in Edale in the Peak District, Robin’s career began while working for the National Trust in conservation forestry. Here he was introduced to various traditional woodland crafts and practicing this skill quickly developed into a great passion.
“The act of taking a tree, cutting it open, feeling the wood and making it into something that will be useful and bring pleasure for years is immensely fulfilling for me.”
His passion has served him well and Robin has enjoyed a successful business. He has made items for Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010) movie, replica items from the Mary Rose, as well as items for the Jorvik Viking Museum, Hampton Court Palace and the Weald & Downland Museum.
Speaking about his upcoming exhibition at Haddon Hall, Robin says:
“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.”
On his blog, Robin details some of the pieces of woodwork at Haddon Hall he loves the most, naming doors of a medieval dole cupboard, the moulding on the top of a pew and a dug out trough in the kitchen. If you’d like to view some of Robin’s work for yourself, this exhibition is for you.
While the furniture at The Peacock may not be as old as that at Haddon Hall, we are fortunate enough to hold some stunning pieces. Throughout the hotel you will find many items of wooden furniture by Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen. Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson was a British furniture maker who lived 1876 – 1955. He set up his business in Kilburn, North Yorkshire manufacturing oak furniture. Each of his pieces features his signature – a small carved mouse.
After his passing, Thompson’s work was continued by his descendants and his workshop and showroom continues to this day. At The Peacock, all the tables and chairs in our restaurant are ‘Mouseman’ pieces, as well as many of the chairs and stools in our bar. It’s a pleasure to have these special pieces of heritage craftmanship in the hotel.
To find out more about Robert Thompson’s craft, click here to take a look at some historical mouseman footage by the Ramdens in the Yorkshire Film Archive.
Whether a modern day craftsman such as Robin Wood or a 19th century wood carver like Robert Thompson, it is evident that heritage craftsmanship has a way of bringing delight to everyone. If you are interested in finding out more about heritage crafts such as wood turning or wood carving, take a look at the Heritage Crafts Association’s website.
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