Sharing knowledge and skills – Book now

A series of conversations between individuals and companies who are experts in their craft, share our values and our love of making. We invite interior designers to join us to listen, learn and participate.  Our Toolbox Talks will give you better knowledge and understanding of materials and skills in each area of excellence allowing you to commission more creatively and effectively.

Joining us will be two companies, Christopher Farr and Barneby Gates, rug specialists and wallpaper designers respectively, who like us, believe in doing things properly. They will talk through the processes of their craft and what’s necessary in their toolbox.

Programme of Talks

Matthew Bourne and Hector Coombs will talk us though the process and materials of rug making. From the way that Christopher Farr collaborates with artists, to how the company works with interior designers to create one-off beautifully crafted rugs.

Vanessa Barneby and Alice Gates will discuss how they employ craft and technology in the business of Barneby Gates. From the development of an idea, to hand drawing the elements, to creating a pattern repeat digitally, to colour proofing at the factory and to various printing techniques.

Sean Sutcliffe from Benchmark will discuss the commissioning process for bespoke furniture and share his in depth knowledge of different timbers and woodworking techniques to help you make the best design and material choices.

Timings of the Day

10:15  Coffee & welcome
10:45  Talks kick off
13:30  Lunch
14.00  Workshop tours and informal discussions.
15.00  Afternoon tea

Travel Arrangements

Benchmark is situated between Newbury and Hungerford and is easily accessible from the M4.  If travelling by train from London there is a direct line from Paddington to Kintbury.  There will be courtesy cars at Kintbury station meeting the 9.18am train from London, arriving 10.17am.  Return transport to the station will be available as required.

Care to join us?

To secure your place on this Toolbox Talk, please email
We have just 50 seats available, on a first-come-first-served basis.


Posted on: 26th February, 2015 By: Benchmark Category: Events & Exhibitions| Getting to know us