15 October 2014 By Jo Phillips
Despite a poor weather forecast the morning of Friday 10 October was mostly glorious sunshine. It was my first visit to the new home of Gaze Burvill at East Tisted, producers of the finest oak outdoor furniture.
I’d seen their stand at RHS Chelsea and the pieces that had been displayed at Torberry for our September Open Day but it was good to see the company’s base where they have recently re-located and transformed old farm buildings – the flint barn is especially beautiful. We were showcasing our hybrid mobile Scotney greenhouse which nestled nicely into a corner of the court yard.
It was interesting to hear Simon Burvill talk about the furniture particularly sourcing the right wood and seeing the production process. The recent addition of CNC (computer numerical control) cutting machines has made a huge change to the way the furniture is made by speeding up the process and making it safer. I was shown the steaming process which enables the wood to be bent into gorgeous curves which hold their shape and make Gaze Burvill’s pieces so distinctive and attractive. The Workshop was very interesting and unexpectedly full of beautiful photo opportunities. I particularly liked these pieces uniformly stacked and the miniature doll’s chair.
I was also impressed with the tool boards in the assembly area which used a simple yet cunning method for keeping the tools in order and ready to hand – am planning something similar when I do my shed make-over!
As you might expect there is some saw dust, wood chips and rejected sub-standard pieces produced by the process but nothing goes to waste. Any by-product is used in the bio-mass boiler that heats the workshop and other buildings giving a sense of rightness and completion that the waste produce can be usefully used. Alitex is also installing a bio-mass boiler as it definitely seems the way to go.
Thank you to Simon and Caroline for their hospitality and Jill for cooking the delicious sausages from the local Bowtell farm shop.