Tom came back to the Woodland Workshop on the 26th Feb, to deliver his fantastic and now fully finished rocking chair to Forde Abbey. What a triumph! It looks really stunning.
Tom, of course, is showing the signs of a true craftsman and immediately pointed out a few minor imperfections that irritate him still - a great sign that he really has bought into the idea of it having to be perfect. Frankly, with the relatively little training he and the others received, and the huge time pressure of the final task during the show, it's a miracle that it was finished at all. Working with no sleep and a camera over your shoulder is not all that conducive to the level of focus and perfection that I know Tom is easily capable of either.
It already seems like a long time ago that Mike Abbott awarded Tom the accolade of winner of 'our' episode of Mastercrafts and it was with great pride that we were shown into the Great Hall of Forde Abbey where Tom's chair will be placed on a pedestal for all to see. I would like to thank Alice and Julian Kennard of Forde Abbey for offering to display Tom's chair for this coming season, for their 50,000+visitors to admire. I strongly recommend a visit too!
It would have been nice if Sarah and Charles' chairs could have been shown alongside Tom's - they all show the maker's characters very effectively and that's a very important facet of the hand-crafting process. Charles' incredibly beautiful and well-made chair should get the recognition it deserves as a true masterpiece - albeit finished too late to be effectively judged! And in addition Sarah is going from strength to strength with her chair-making and her beautiful chair is featuring all over the place - in magazines, on TV and in radio discussions too. And that is all good news for spreading the word about craftsmanship and woodworking in general.
4 weeks ago