Bodging Milano at Designersblock

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Milan 2010: at Designersblock in Milan last week designers including Gitta Gschwendtner, Carl Clerkin and William Warren presented chairs made in an English forest with green woodworking techniques.

Above and top: William Warren

Called Bodging Milano, the project involved working for six days with woodworker Gudrun Leitz at her outdoor Bodging workshop in Herefordshire, UK.

Above and below: Carl Clerkin

Each design makes use of traditional outdoor chair-making techniques including steam bending, pole-lathing and hand tools.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

Above and below: Gitta Gschwendtner

Photographs are by Ed Reeve.

Here are some more details from Designersblock:


From 30th March to April 5th, 9 designers went back to the furniture, living for a week in the woods of deepest Herefordshire.

With the help of Gudrun Leitz and her assistant Paul, each made a greenwood chair in Gudrun’s outdoor workshop.

Above and below: Rory Dodd

All of them got out of the the studio, away from drawing boards, computer screens, and mechanised equipment into the hands-on world of the original country chair-makers working without electricity with pole lathes, steam benders and hand tools.

The 10 chairs plus a chair of Gudrun’s will be exhibited with Designersblock at Spazio Revel, Milan, during the Milan Furniture Fair which takes place 14th - 19th April 2010.

Above and below: Amos Marchant

The designers are Amos Marchant, Carl Clerkin, Chris Eckersley, Dave Green, Gareth Neal, Gitta Gschwendtner, Rory Dodd, Suzanne Barnes, William Warren.

Bodging Milano came about when Designer and Artist Chris Eckersley was asked to design a chair for Dave Green’s furniture company Sitting Firm.

Above and below: Suzanne Barnes

The resulting chairs called ‘Arden’ were a variation of the English Windsor Chair launched at Designersblock Milan 2009.

The Arden project led to an interest in traditional chair making and production so when Chris came across a chairmaking courses on the internet he thought he should go bodging himself to see what it was like.

Above and below: Gareth Neal

He sent some pictures from the weeks course to Rory Dodd at designersblock who said wouldn’t it be great to do something like that and present it in Milano and Bodging Milano was born.

Chris told his furniture friends and before we knew it we had a group of the UKs finest designers ready to bodge in Clisset’s Wood, Bosbury, Herefordshire. This is what we did.

Above: Dave Green

Above: Chris Eckersley


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  • yo

    …what ‘s green wood working techniques meant to mean?!

  • Mingma

    LOVING these new chairs, reminds me of the Model 209/210 by August Thonet. And who said you couldnt love a object?

    http://www.chaplins.co.uk/modern-furniture-product-search.html

  • Fish fingers

    Good to see DB on here. Nic3 stuff.

  • Lord D

    green wood is wood that hasn’t been dried

  • http://www.verydesignersblock.com rory dodd

    thank you kindly, very happy that you like the project, for anybody who wants to see it but couldn’t make it to milano it will be coming to a london near you soon, x

  • http://www.asdfghjkl.com asdfghjkl

    Damn – that looks like it was a fun week in the forest. Wish I was there.