Shetland  Fine Craft - Child's 'Hope' chest made from English Elm
Shetland Fine Craft - Child's 'Hope' chest made from English Elm

Commissioning a piece of furniture can be a very rewarding process, which results in a special and unique piece of furniture that can be cherished by you and future generations.

For some this can be very daunting thought. This is because if you buy a piece of furniture from a shop you can see exactly what you are buying. However, by asking a craftsman to design and/or make a piece of furniture, you are putting a lot of trust in the abilities and skill of that person to interpret what you have in mind and how you want it to look. Sometimes a client may not know exactly what they want and it is down to the skill of the designer to interpret this, come up with ideas, and produce a piece of furniture a client is happy with.

This does not have to  be the case however, as with a wealth of experience behind me, you can be rest assured that I will be able to guide you through this process with ease. This is achieved by meetings and the development of sketches until we have a final design that we are both happy with, using my knowledge of furniture history and style and  using the grain pattern the timber itself to influence the design, (instead of just using it as a construction medium). Working drawings can be supplied, but these I feel not necessary in most cases as sketches and a 3D drawing (usually a watercolour), will suffice. I do NOT charge for this process, but designs remain the intellectual property of Alex Ward, Shetland Fine Craft. If working drawings are required by the client, a small fee may be necessary.

Shetland  Fine Craft - School lectern (Lincolnshire) made from Oak
Shetland Fine Craft - School lectern (Lincolnshire) made from Oak

I do not have any particular style that I work to, but what I do is produce fine bespoke handcrafted furniture to suit YOUR style. By this I mean, I will design and make a piece of furniture for you as an individual (or company) that fits your needs, personality and style.

The cost of a bespoke piece of furniture does not have to be as expensive as you may think, or you may have been led to believe. Small pieces of furniture may be more expensive than larger pieces depending on the amount time it takes to make them even though there is little timber involved. For example a large dining table can be cheaper than an intricate stationary cabinet. Shapes and curves add more to a piece of furniture, not only in cost but in aesthetics as well. Straight pieces of wood and simple joints are obviously cheaper to produce and can cut production time down by up to half, which may well suit some designs and/or when some clients have a tight budget. Doors and drawers can also increase the cost of a piece.

When the  length of time a handcrafted piece of furniture will give enjoyment for, and be able to be passed down to future generations to become an heirloom, is compared to that of a massed produced piece,  bespoke furniture is a lot better value for money in this throw away society.

Shetland  Fine Craft - 2.5mm luxury embossed plaque displayed on all furniture/ chairs
Shetland Fine Craft - 2.5mm luxury embossed plaque displayed on all furniture/ chairs

Each piece of furniture is identified with a luxury embossed solid metal plaque, so that its provenance can be proved identifying the maker in years to come.

When a design is finalised a 1/3 deposit is required and an estimated delivery date will be given, the remaining balance to be paid on completion of the piece of furniture unless otherwise arranged.

Delivery  on Shetland can  be made personally by myself, and delivery for the rest of the UK can also be arranged (the price of which will be subject to the  current postal rates). In some instances it may be possible to deliver personally within UK. Overseas orders are also welcome.

Clients must be aware that all my furniture is handcrafted and I may have a waiting time before I can start a new piece of furniture. Current waiting times will be discussed on commissioning.

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