Enthroned on wood

Craftsman made garden seat

Seat in the wildlife garden at Harestanes

‘You can sit on it if you like,’ said the woman behind the shop counter. Sitting on it wasn’t in my mind, but I did want to photograph it.

We had driven to Harestanes Countryside Visitors Centre, near Ancrum to have a wander around. Barely had we parked when we discovered a friend parked alongside us. So off to the café for a blether, a cup of coffee and slice of carrot and passionfruit cake.

It was when we were leaving that I noticed the chair, though chair is hardly an appropriate word. Throne is how it is described. And that is when I was told I could sit on it.

Tim Stead's Papal Throne

Papal Throne made by Tim Stead for the visit of Pope John Paul 11 to Edinburgh in 1982

The throne was part of a small exhibition, in an adjoining gallery, of the work of Tim Stead, an extremely gifted and highly-respected artist-craftsman, who died in 2000 at the age of 48. Tim lived and worked in the Scottish Borders where his love affair with Scottish hardwoods drove him to produce distinctive furniture that will long be cherished.

Information panel on the papal Throne

Information on the Papal Throne at the exhibition at Harestanes Visitors Centre in the Scottish Borders

As well as the throne, the exhibition includes keynote pieces which highlight his love of burr elm which he often inlaid with slivers of other wood or pencil-line patterns in metal that flowed with the grain.

The throne is a stunning piece, commissioned for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium in 1982. Made of oak, inlaid with designs in other woods, it has a soaring back and short legs.

Inlay on the back of the throne

Inlay on the back of the throne

After his death Tim’s workshop was kept going as The Workshop of Tim Stead by his widow, Maggy, and a small team of skilled craftsmen who were apprenticed with him. This year the Workshop, from which came so many sculptural items made from locally sourced hardwoods, will close.

Craftsman made chair

Chair from The Workshop of Tim Stead

Tim Stead table

Table from The Workshop of Tim Stead – notice the inlay

Although sad the distinctive furniture will no longer be made, I can treasure one of the axe heads Tim made to raise money for projects close to his heart including the Borders Community Woodland.

Wooden axehead by Tim Stead

One of the many wooden axeheads made by Tim and sold to raise money for the planting of more trees in the Borders.

Our axe head, bought many years ago, is signed by Tim, dated 13th February 1986 and is made of his beloved burr elm.

Design gallery at Harestanes

Another of Harestane’s attractions

The visitors centre exhibition space, café and shop are housed in former estate buildings with a character of their own.

Crafts made goods in Buy Design at Harestanes

In the window of Buy Design

Alongside is a design and crafts shop which displays locally made furniture, wooden items and crafts, and a number of craft workshops – a tile maker, a potter, a jeweler and a maker of beautiful leather handbags.

Craft items

More crafts made items in wood and fabric

Pink box

Fascinating pink box in the window of Buy Design

About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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7 Responses to Enthroned on wood

  1. MixerUpper says:

    What beautiful woodwork, Jings. I really enjoyed your post!

  2. carolee1945 says:

    Once more, you have taken me on a trip to the Scottish Borders. I had forgotten I could click on your photos and they become much larger on my 27 inch screen. Just beautiful!!! I can see all the detail.

    • A 27 inch screen? Do you have an iMac? I have one of the smaller ones, but even it is great. I’d never call myself a photographer, not in the professional sense, but I enjoy taking photos, and spent quite a bit of time selecting a simple point and shoot camera that would give me good results. Really pleased with the one I chose, and yes, it enables most photos to be looked at large, and for me to use them for graphics.

  3. Seriously, I should drag one of these to class so I get the attention I deserve 🙂

  4. Dina says:

    Wow, great woodwork!

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