- Lawrence Neal
Lawrence began his career as a chairmaker at a very early age. He learnt his craft from his father, Neville Neal, and the two worked together for over thirty years. The chairs that Lawrence makes are traditional ladder and spindleback chairs in with rush seats. The designs are basically those passed down through various hands including Clissett, Gimson, Gardiner and Neville Neal. Certainly many of Lawrence's patterns, still in use, date from Gimson's workshop of the late 1930's and 1940's.
Lawrence's year in the workshop has a rhythm that is aligned to nature - harvesting the year's supply of ash & oak and pulling on his wadders once a year to collect rushes for seating to set him up for the 100 to 120 chairs he makes annually. He uses some power tools like the venerable band, circular saw and lathe to shape the individual elements but much of the construction is carried out at the bench using handtools. The designs, refined over many years, result in chairs that are light, elegant, strong and comfortable.
For more information about Lawrence and other chairmakers can be found on our blog Tinsmiths Cuttings - http://blog.tinsmiths.co.uk/