Listening to Bjork's 'Pagan Poetry' as we write this post seems entirely appropriate. It's all about the joy of spending time with nature at the 'Make Wedding Party' of the gorgeous and talented couple Seb and Brogan of Sebastian Cox furniture.
Last week, we were invited to celebrate with them at this very special edition of their annual 'Make Party' in honour of their nuptials – woodworking, making paper flowers and dancing into the night around a campfire. It was so good to leave our studio, get our hands dirty and get back to nature with an amazing group of design lovers. And there are plenty of ideas here to give you some amazing styling ideas for any outdoors parties.
Situated deep in the woodlands that Seb manages and where he sources the wood for his handcrafted furniture, they had created the most magical clearing, complete with handcrafted wedding tent and tables, campfires, candles and making stations offering the chance to get inside the process of some of our favourite craftspeople. Without wanting to sound cheesy, it was enchanting.
Earlier in the year we spent a similarly enchanting if somewhat colder day with Seb and Brogan getting very muddy and sweaty as we learned about Coppicing in this same woodland. Seb shared his knowledge on managing the woods and we in return offered our help to clear some wood for making his beautiful furniture. We left exhausted and wet and very happy. Did you know that it actually helps the trees and general flora and fauna to clear some trees? It was so out of our comfort zone and so much fun. To then be able to use that same wood to learn how to make our own Hewn bench from his collection was amazing. Although our novice attempt was a way off his beautiful piece, we felt so proud that we had a go and we learned some new skills. Who knew that it was so easy to drill through a slab of solid wood with a hand tool! So satisfying. Our axe skills leave something to be desired and our bench legs looked rather more chewed by Buckley than beautifully tapered, but it was fun to get to grips with some serious tools.
Then on to ring making with Workbench. Seriously pleasing stuff as we learned how to carve a ring of jewellers wax with a craft knife to make our own unique ring that will then be made into a solid silver version by the lovely ladies at Workbench and sent back to us when finished. The carving is delicate and tricky to start with and you have to be careful not to crack the wax ring with too much pressure, but the detail you can work into the wax is so cool. We went for organic grooves and facets on our rings, but you can create so many different shapes.
Originally one of our rings was going to be a signet shape and as it reached the point of perfection, the knife slipped in too deep and sliced the edge off the main face of the signet. So it then became a fully faceted ring with out a signet. Sometimes imperfection is part of the process and you just have to go with it. We cannot wait to receive the finished pieces and what and amazing thing to do at a wedding party! If you get the chance to book one of Workbenches workshops we can highly recommend it.
We also dipped into workshops with Foldability; learning to make paper flowers and a Foundry that was melting down recycled aluminium cans to sand-cast any shape you fancy. It was so pleasing and dramatic to see the heat of the fire and the melted metal running into the sand.
Bringing that nature back into your home is having a major moment as we all crave that connection. It was food for the soul and will certainly filter into our interiors work as we see craftsmanship in a new way, appreciating the impressively different skill sets and passions of each of the craftspeople that we meet.
Big love to you Brogan and Seb! Thank you for the enchantment and inspiration.
Love Russell and Jordan x