Edward Barnsley Open Day Review

Last weekend we welcomed over 200 visitors to our Open Saturday, thank you so much to everyone who joined us.

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Our visitors took the opportunity to speak with our current apprentices Ian Towers, Nathan Peach and Warren Bentley.  Our apprentices were able to show the pieces which they are currently working on as well as their recently finished pieces.

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Alongside pieces which are work in progress our visitors were able to get a closer look at some of our most recent designs, including our White Rocking Chair and our Library Step Mk VII.

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Our White Rocking Chair was designed by James Ryan in 2013, although first available with a scorched finish, made from Hampshire oak and carefully seasoned in on our drying sheds.


James Ryan says, ‘Over many years I have refined the design of our wooden chairs to arrive at a back-shape which for most people offers comfortable support. The double curvature of the back bar arrangement supports the sitter. Comfort is key with this rocking chair. It is designed for tranquil repose. The sculpted arms of the rocker are inviting to the touch. With its graceful curves and precision joinery the chair is made for relaxation.’

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Our visitors were able to see Library Steps Mk VII, the lastest in our series of Library Steps which began in 2001.  Designer, James Ryan says, ‘Since 2001 I have created seven different designs of library steps. I wanted my newest version to be as delicate as possible. But of course library steps need to be robust, and my aim here is to create an elegant balance of strength and lightness. These steps weigh very little and can be moved about easily. They are secure and stable because they sit on three feet. The layered, or laminated, curved components are formed into a strong triangulated structure. I used computer-aided design software to help me plot the complex joints between the components.’


Many of our visitors admired our smaller products, including our Hand Mirrors, Candlesticks and our Octagonal Breadboards, many of these items left our workshop to go to new homes.

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Our Open Saturday also enabled us to talk to our visitor in more detail about our current Fundraising Appeal.  Our scale workshop model showed our development plans and visitors were able to take a brochure for further details, if you would like a copy of our brochure please contact us.



We are seeking your support to help raise £500,000 to fund a building project. We plan to build a workshop extension in 2017 and then to reorganise and sympathetically refurbish our existing listed buildings. These changes will enable us to train more furniture-making apprentices, and to improve the way we inform visitors about the work we do today and the heritage of the Edward Barnsley Workshop.  If you would like to support our appeal please find more information here.


We would like to express particular gratitude and thanks to our lovely volunteers Gilly for manning the front desk, Eileen for the wonderful homemade cakes and tea and coffee and ably assisted by Ania.


Our next Open Saturday will be 3rd June 2017.  Please follow all of our news and join our conversations on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.