Friday, December 4, 2015

Sale of Work ~ 5 - 6 December between 11.00 - 16.00 daily

This weekend my son (and fellow furniture designer-maker) Jody Koomen and I will be at my workshop in Checkendon. You are most welcome to visit and have a look and/or chat. We'll be a hosting a sale of work including this beautiful stool by Jody and more of his work at my workshop-studio this Saturday and Sunday, 5 - 6 December between 11.00 - 16.00 daily.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Curiosity Cabinet For All Seasons

Professor Richard Fortey and Jackie Fortey tell the story of twelve months in the life of their woodland at Grim’s Dyke in their book 
Wood for the Trees
The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood to be published 5 May 2016.
The story begins with a visit to my workshop in May 2013. The Forteys wanted to discuss the possibility of designing a curiosity cabinet. The cabinet was to house the collection of found objects in their woodland and to be made from cherry wood from the woodland.

We chose a mature tree suitable for felling and after Martin Drew, a local timber contractor, converted it to planks we started the air-drying process at my workshop for over a year, followed by drying in my kiln. 

In July of this year I began making the cabinet; the photos below show some of the work in progress. 

The finished cabinet was delivered on 12 November to the Forteys' home. On the way there I took it to the woodland where Robert Francis photographed it where once the actual cherry tree had stood (photos to follow).  

I’m delighted to give you early notice that Professor Fortey has agreed to give a talk at my workshop during Oxfordshire Artweeks in May 2016 (details of date and time to follow nearer the time). 

For more information of the forthcoming book, click here 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

That’s Oxford TV - Forest to Furniture exhibition

That’s Oxford TV recently did an interview with me at my exhibition, which you can see via this link

or via my facebook page posts philip koomen furniture.

If you haven’t managed to see the exhibition, the footage gives you a few glimpses! There are, however, a few days left before the exhibition closes at the end of the day on 7 June.  I will be giving guided talks on Saturday and Sunday, 6/7 June @ 11 am. You are welcome to join me. There’s a 50% reduction on admission (tickets valid for all-year admission to all exhibitions, permanent and temporary ones), if you have one of my invitation cards, which you can obtain from the museum reception (I will leave these with reception staff over the w/e).

Monday, May 18, 2015

Forty Years in the Making: From Black to Grey!

Yes, time flies!
My exhibition From Forest to Furniture: Ideas in the Making, which showcases forty years of furniture design and make, will finish on 7 June at the River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames.

I will be giving a few more guided tours of my exhibition on the following dates:
Monday Bank Holiday, 25 May at 11.00
Saturday, 30 May at 11am
Sunday, 31 May at 3pm*
Saturday, 6 June at 11am
Sunday, 7 June at 11am
It would be helpful to know if you plan to join me; I can organise reduced-price museum entrance.

* There is also a joint end-of-show gathering on Sunday, 31 May with Simon Murison-Bowie whose photography exhibition Artists & Studios: Private Views** is finishing that day. Simon will give an informal talk at 2.30pm and I will start my tour at 3pm. After that you are welcome to join us outside on the riverside meadow – weather permitting – where we will offer a glass of fizz/juice/water and some nibbles.

**Artists & Studios: Private Views Through a series of evocative photographs Simon Murison-Bowie explores the relationship of artists and craftspeople with their ‘natural habitats’, the workspace.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ideas in the Making: A Creativity Symposium for All

Ideas in the Making: A Creativity Symposium for All
A Creativity Symposium, supported by Arts Council England, will be held at the iconic Oxford University Museum of Natural History as part of Oxfordshire Artweeks on 
Saturday, 25 April, 10 – 5.

Ideas in the Making: A Creativity Symposium for All invites the public to explore creative thinking and practice through a wide range of creative activities, lectures and expert-led workshops.  

The event is open to everyone, from families looking for free, fun and creative activities in the inspiring environs of the museums, to casual observers who are curious about exploring different perspectives on creativity in everyday life.

The Symposium will begin at 10am with a free programme in the historic lecture theatre of the Natural History Museum.  Keynote speakers, Dr. Tracey Warr (Art), Professor Simon Olding (Craft), and Dr. Andrew Lack (Ecology) will explore ideas of creativity in their fields. This will be followed by a panel discussion with professionals active in creative fields, including fine art, craft, design and architecture.  

From 1pm, family-focussed, creative activities organised by a range of organisations and artists, including Oxford Brookes Fine Art students, Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Art in Action, River & Rowing Museum and the Sylva Foundation, will be taking place throughout the Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museums.  

A series of expert-led creative workshops will run parallel to these activities, facilitated by Dr. Robin Wilson (Wytham Woods), Giuseppe Boscherini (Designer, Architect) and Clair Chinnery (Senior Lecturer Fine Art, Oxford Brookes).  

Morning talks and afternoon children’s activities are free.

Tickets for the specialist creative workshops can be purchased at £5 through 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dan's preparations and construction processes in the making of the Egyptian headrest copy

Dan Harrison, our talented and insightful intern/trainee, made a copy of a 4500-year-old Egyptian headrest. The copy is on display in our exhibition Forest to Furniture: Ideas in the Making at the River Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames. Dan had a great day researching the headrest with wonderful support from the staff at the Pitts Rivers Museum, Oxford, where the original headrest is on display. 
The photos here show Dan’s preparation and the various stages involved in the construction of the headrest copy.

Did you know that woodworkers have been at the centre of civilization building, from the first settlements over 10,000 years ago to the present day?
The original Egyptian headrest, made 4,500 years ago.
It's on display at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

The original Egyptian headrest was made 4,500 years ago. The three sections are joined using a mortice and tenon joint, a method of construction ONLY employed in Britain for the last 500 years. It has been carved to create a very elegant form.
Copy of the headrest, made by Dan Harrison
On display at River Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames