NEWSLETTER – August 2016

WHAT AN AUGUST! Such very hot days, chilly early mornings and lots of enthusiastic students and another thoroughly enjoyable working trip to Munich!

We are extremely proud that three of our graduates were invited, and are currently exhibiting at the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design at Cheltenham College. The show has become the largest selling exhibition of high quality bespoke furniture in the country and every year it draws visitors and exhibitors from around the world. The show includes pieces by the very best makers and up and coming talent. Well worth the journey to view some outstanding furniture design and quality workmanship.

Matt Pare bench

Many congratulations to Matthew Paré of Petrel Furniture who not only sold his work but was commended by The Furniture Makers Company saying: “appropriate use of traditional materials for the design and given a contemporary twist.”

Matt commented: "It has been great to have such a positive response to the work, seeing people interact with the pieces and exhibiting alongside an impressive group of makers."

John was again invited back to DICTUM in Munich at the beginning to August to teach a truly international group of students the finer points of Veneering and Wood Finishing. It is always a pleasure to teach in their organised workshops and a real luxury to have everything prepared for me by my very own technician!

dictum shop

The very lovely DICTUM Shop in Munich

Each month we feature the work of one of our bench renters or past students. This month check out the amazing first commission undertaken by recently qualified designer/maker Kuristo Demans.

Of course, none of us would be able to operate as successfully as we do without the support of some fabulous specialist suppliers, with this mind we are delighted to give a mention each month to some of our favourite suppliers, this month check out the wonderful Classic Hand Tools.

Enjoy John's latest blog entitled 'Dovetails ...... still relevant after all these years?'

Finally, don't forget to check out John's latest top tool tip below!


Don't Miss out!
Autumn 2016 short courses

5 day Understanding Veneering - Make an Inlaid Tray 10-14 October

5 day French Polishing & Modern Hand Finishes 24-28 October

2 day Wood Machining - Taming those scary machines 1-2 October & 12-13 November

2 day Care & Repair of Antique Furniture. Bring along your own small items and learn how to bring them back to life 2-4 December

5 day SKILLS WEEK - Great Christmas present for those tricky Dads/husbands/brothers or women! All you need to know to get you started on the road to fine woodworking 3-7 April 2017


Beautiful Boxes
Learning to Love Laminating 3 day Course

Box making is always a 'crowd pleaser' and this unusual little gem was the lovely take home reward for our recent group of hardworking students studying the secret of successful laminating.

Next year, this course will be run over the August Bank Holiday 26-28th August.
Don't miss this great opportunity to add laminating to your repetoire of woodworking skills!

Box making with John Lloyd

FOCUS on Kuristo Demans Designer/Maker and Restorer

I started making models from a very young age, which got more complicated and detailed as I got older; from huge dioramas and wooden ships, to making model railways under commission. Later I learnt to restore all aspects of antique toys, and worked for a specialist restoration company for many years.

After being made redundant I decided to undertake a year’s intensive training with John Lloyd, which gave me the skills and hands on experience to undertake a new direction in my career in the creation of bespoke furniture and antique furniture restoration.

When making a piece of furniture I try to use traditional hand skills for as much as the work as possible rather than using machine tools. This helps keep the handmade feel in newly created furniture, but also means I can restore antiques in the way they originally were made, so repairs can be seamlessly blended in.

Kuristo 2

Walnut Side Table

A design roughly based on an existing Georgian lowboy, this walnut side table is designed to have a light and elegant feel. The walnut frame and cedar bottomed drawers are perfectly complemented by the exquisite patterns in the burred walnut top. The walnut top features a subtle inlay of the clients initial to uniquely personalise the piece.

Demans 2

Copy of Michelangelo San Lorenzo Facade

Most recently I was commissioned to make a copy of the Michelangelo Basilica San Lorenzo façade model ready for the 500-year anniversary of the project. As the original is in Florence, a brief trip was required to see the model and take as many pictures as possible, within the 1 hour viewing period and without touching the original in any way. I then returned to the workshop in East Sussex to build my replica, using the same traditional woods used by Michelangelo; poplar, walnut and lime. Some adaptations were made behind the scenes however to allow the new model to come apart into 10 smaller pieces for transport. 3 metres long, weighing around ¾ tonne and containing almost 2000 hours of intricate carvings and mouldings, delivery over the rolling Scottish roads was quite a hair raising experience.

Demans Boulle table 2

Boulle Table Restoration

This Boule Table had seen better days with some of the brass and tortoise shell missing. Cutting replacement parts was a fiddley and a time consuming task, but one well worth the time and effort. After a lot of elbow grease the table was restored back to it’s original glory.

To contact Kuristo to discuss a project please email or call 07784512569.

Website coming soon!

Classic Hand Tools
Great friendly team always on the look out for new and interesting small suppliers from around the world. Classic Hand Tools



It's always rewarding breathing new life into beautiful old objects! Serious damage to top of a chair leg, showing turned repair and new mortice. Ready now for re-upholstery.

04_damage to top of leg 1 04_damage to top of leg 2 04_damage to top of leg 3 04_damage to top of leg 4

An old time favourite ... the adjustable square. This is a really versatile little square that I use all the time!

Adjustable square




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The Author John Lloyd

John Lloyd trained in Furniture Making and Antique Furniture Restoration & Conservation with Bruce Luckhurst at the Little Surrenden Workshops in Kent, where he graduated with distinction.  He also taught antique furniture restoration at West Dean College, Chichester.  

John was awarded the City & Guilds of London Institute Silver Medal of Excellence,  the highest possible award, as First Prize for Advanced Studies in Furniture for Furniture Making and Antique Restoration.

With the experience of a 25 year career as a successful furniture designer/maker and restorer behind him, John now teaches intensive courses from his delightful workshops in rural Sussex.  He also regularly contributes articles to the leading furniture making magazines.

John is a full member of BAFRA, The British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association.