Out of the Dark collaboration at Decorex

Out of the Dark is a charitable social enterprise whom we admire greatly. They recycle, restore and revamp salvaged furniture as a means to train, educate and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For their latest project, And In to the Woods, Out of the Dark have collaborated with Benchmark, Sebastian Cox, Mylands Paints, Timberwright, Chiltern Rangers, and Heal’s to design, source, produce, exhibit and sell an exceptional range of ethically sourced stools.  30 of the stools will be provided for seating in the Decorex Street Food Market as part of London Design Festival.

The idea for the project was to recreate the historic cycle of furniture making that was prevalent for centuries in their hometown, High Wycombe, once the epicentre of British furniture manufacturing. During the 500 year history of local chair making, the life of a chair began in the Chiltern Woods, where bodgers cut down trees and made them in to legs and spindles; these were carted in to High Wycombe, where they were originally made in to Windsor chairs (a chair that originates in High Wycombe, but was coined ‘Windsor’ to make it seem more valuable when selling in London) and then carted down to London to be sold. It was a thriving industry with 90% of the town employed by the furniture industry.  This project, a respectful nod to the history and nostalgia of one of the most important industries in Britain, enabled the young people to learn a lot about the heritage of the town, craftsmanship and business.

The wood of stool legs was coppiced by the young people from local woods with help from Sebastian Cox, Timberwright & Chiltern Rangers.  It was then transported to the Out of the Dark workshop, where Sebastian Cox taught the young people how to bodge the legs.  We donated off cuts of wood for the seats which were then painted with the newly launched Mylands Out of the Dark paint range. The young people then put the stools together using traditional techniques. Watch them being made here>

The stool is due to be sold at Heal’s in December


21-24 September 2014

Syon Park, West London, TW8 8JF

Posted on: 4th September, 2014 By: Benchmark Category: Events & Exhibitions