FURNITURE historian Bill Cotton and the Cotswold Antique Dealers Association (CADA) are among those participating in Chairs 2004, the first international chairmakers’ symposium. The new event will be held at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Tetbury from May 1-3.
The central aim of Chairs 2004 is to highlight the current generation of individual craftsmen making fine wooden chairs, but the 160 stands (all are now booked) will make for an eclectic mix, ranging from members of The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers to associated tradespeople and three museums, who are attending with exhibits.
The event has also attracted the CADA, who – as a sponsor of the event – will fill an exhibition space with around 25 chairs from a number of different periods, styles and materials, taken from a broad range of members. CADA president Sean Clarke hopes the association will meet a new audience demonstrably interested in art, design and craftsmanship, but perhaps not yet turned on to antiques.
Dealer Michael Harding-Hill of Chipping Norton’s Antique Windsor Chairs will be on CADA’s stand and will be promoting his acclaimed book Windsor Chairs.
Education is very much part of the event and to that end Bill Cotton, president of the Regional Furniture Society and author of The English Regional Chair, will speak on Provenance of chairs – Fun through knowledge. He will also give a workshop titled Regional Variations. Speaking on Shaker simplicity: its influence worldwide is Scott Swank of the Canterbury Shaker village in Canterbury, New Hampshire.
A more comprehensive programme of events can be found at www.chairs2004.org.uk or by calling 01285 642 476.