Making bespoke furniture doesn’t always start with raw timber; the church pew corner seating area is an interesting example of this. The brief was to make these church pews into a seating area suitable for a modern family home, but to maintain as much of the original character as possible.

The clients approached me having purchased the pews from a pub in upper Weardale. The church they were originally made for had long since been converted into a house, the back room of a pub had been their home ever since.

I decided the best way to create the look the clients desired was be to cut two separate pews at a 45 degree angle and join them back together in a giant mitre joint. Therefore only the original frontage would be visible. I then cleaned off the beer residue and a large paint spillage to reveal the original oil finish.

I find it a privilege to work on furniture made by the hands of craftsmen long ago, to breathe new life into a piece and convert it into something completely new. The pews new home and function is no doubt just another chapter in their already long life

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