Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rufford Abbey gallery

We are proud to be taking part in the Christmas exhibition at the Rufford Gallery. We will be exhibiting some of our new designs together with some other classic pieces, alongside an exquisite array of other East Midlands craftsmen.

There is lots on display - all perfect for that special gift for loved ones. Come to the opening on Sunday 17th November 2pm - 4pm to meet some of the artists and designers involved. The show is open from 19th Nov - 29th Dec.

Friday, September 27, 2013

London Design Festival

September has been an inspiring month in London with over 300 events and exhibitions all about design. Griffin + Sinclair attended many of the London Design festival events.

Inside design with PearsonLloyd
This design duo create seating solutions for offices, aeroplanes and public spaces. When given the opportunity to take on the magnificent atrium of Notting Hill's Great Western Studios, what they came up with was an ever changing grouping of long box benches which moved every day. The idea was to see how people interact with seating. Across the two week exhibition, studio holders would have to adapt around the new layout each day.

Design here there & everywhere - The V&A is the hub of London Design Festival and it was great to see some old friends exhibiting there. We really enjoyed the oxford university chair project where three finalists designed some stunning seating in the hope to be picked for the huge task of kitting out the Bodleian Libraries.

SCP - We saw some great new products this year. There was a lovely shelf which incorporated solid oak and leather. They have had a bit of a revamp in their shoreditch store and it looks great.
The press breakfast at Tom Dixon's Dock was very inspiring, Tom's wide range of products and use of modern technology got us thinking about new avenues yet to be explored. We highly recommend getting hold of a copy of the Dixonary. There are lots of images where you can see what inspired some of Tom Dixon's most recognised work.

Heals - We stepped it up a notch at the Heals party where there was live performances of opera. We particularly liked the range of designs by Matthew Hilton. His attention to detail when adding curves to the backs and arms of his chairs make them extremely comfy.

Design Junction - full of raw talent this year with young designer makers from all around the world.

All in all it was a great week and has really inspired us all to focus on what is important... Inventive design, beautiful craftsmanship and thinking creatively.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

sculptural table

We hope you are all enjoying the summer.

We are busy making shop display holders for Whole Food Market's new store in Richmond. They seem to like them as this is the forth order in 2 years!

Our new sculptural side tables have created a bit of a stir and I hope to have some new ones made very soon. We are also thinking of introducing a floor lamp using the same technique.

Friday, July 12, 2013

new convertable concept drawing

Lots of interesting projects and new prototypes being made.

We have redesigned our CONVERTABLE after 25 years and we hope to launch it in the Autumn 2013.

Here are some quick pre 3d images as a sneak preview.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Open Studios

Thank you everyone for coming to our Open Studios weekend. We had a terrific time meeting lots of lovely people and showing off some of our new designs.

It was the start of something exciting to come as we had a lot of interest in some new bespoke furniture commissions. If you missed your chance to visit us during Open Studios, don't worry because we are doing it all again next week. Come for a tour around A real workshop meet the creative family, have a cuppa and enjoy the sun at our Laneham base in the countryside.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I put this on in response to a linkedin discussion about "negative corners". It is one of my earliest tables.

The projecting square rails were to lead the eye into the surrounding space and the negative corners were my response to searching for an alternative to legs! There was a chess board inset into the centre; unfortunately it doesn't show in the photo. The leg arrangement worked well when used as a games table as you could lean on them. Biggest problem was the bruised knees from the projections!!!

Lee Sinclair, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Apprentice

Just over a week to go before we throw the doors open and welcome the hoards!

Sorry, I mean potential customers, although from the feedback I have got so far it might be fellow woodworkers coming to have a look around.  I don't mind. It should be interesting talking to like minded people and I might even learn a few things.
Did anyone see "The Apprentice" last night?
The winning chair/table design was suggested to me by Dan months ago and I dismissed it saying "why would anyone want a chair that turns into a table? because when you are sitting in the chair you would need a table and vice versa". And they got 3500 orders for theirs!!! I still have a lot to learn even after all these years.

Follow this link and fast forward to 27 mins in! it is uncanny!

This is just a concept drawing but there are remarkable similarities to the "Apprentice" design. I think Dan's would probably work better though.

Lee Sinclair, 2013 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Avenir coat stand

Well that was good news. Phone call from Rufford Craft Centre telling us that our "Avenir" Coat Stand sold within the first 1 and a 1/2 hours of the exhibition being open. We now have to get another one there as soon as possible.

The Avenir coat stand is the first design from Griffin+Sinclair - that is me plus my daughter Rosalind Sinclair and her husband Daniel Griffin. Both have degrees in Art and Design and are brimming with good ideas.

Lee Sinclair, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

images form the 90's

I have been going through some of my photos from previous projects and found this one from the 1990's and is my version of the "Capstan" table. The table had concentric rings underneath and as the outer ring was turned it  pushed the quadrant leaves out. The leg box housed the other leaves and they popped up and were secured by turning the ring back on itself.  It was one of the most complicated things we have made but it did work.

From a six seater it expanded to form a ten seater.  The most difficult part was the spring loading of the leaves in the box housing. The whole thing was in Oak so we had a lot of weight to deal with.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rufford Exhibition

Took four pieces over to Rufford Craft Gallery on Thursday for the Open Studios Exhibition that starts next Sunday and should run till the end of May. There will be a large map of Nottinghamshire with all the open studio participants marked.

Called in on the Bodger exhibition at the Harley Gallery. Some interesting shapes but the overall impression reinforced my theory that Lucian Ercolani was a clever man.  He took the old bodgers windsor chair and developed a whole collection from it that are recognised as classics. All the chairs in the exhibition were using the same inspiration and all turned out looking like Ercol. All to be expected I suppose.  I was impressed by the Lloyd Loom part of the exhibition, well worth a look.

This week I will be working on the Cherry Tall boy and finishing the drawings for my "Homage to Arp" sideboards.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Avenir coat stand

Monday and just had my eyes tested..... New glasses ordered for close up work which I seem to do a lot of.  Pleased to say that the optician thought my eyes were in pretty good shape which is good news for me as good vision is essential for my work.

We have just got a good order for display system for a large American based supermarket chain that are doing to Britain what Tesco failed to do to USA. They are called Wholefood Markets and although they are not British, their philosophy of buying produce locally and using selected craftsmen that have good sustainability credentials is, in my opinion, a refreshing approach.

Griffin+Sinclair is progressing well and still working on a range of new furniture and related products that we hope to showcase later this year.

Just had another order from a customer that had a bedroom and dressing room from us exactly 10 years ago. This new piece is a tallboy for storing shoes.  I'll put some pics on the website when it is made.

A good week so far and it is still only Monday. Must have something to do with the sun shining....

Here it is... the first product designed by Dan and Roz for our new "Ancillary Range" that will include this coat stand and my flip out, wall mounted coat hooks.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Open Studios getting closer

We are spending lots of time promoting the Nottinghamshire Open Studios that we are participating in. We did it last year and the response was reasonable for a new venture. This year everything seems better organised with better graphics and more involvement from local Arts organisations. I have to say I am not envious of Michael Trueman, the guy that is organiser for the events, it is so much work.

There are a number of studio trails around Nottinghamshire with lots of interesting artist taking part, many of them good friends.  Check out this link to the Open Studios Notts website for more information.

The dates for our open workshop are on our homepage.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Craft & Design selected award

We are in the final six of the Craft & Design Awards, wood and metal section.

Craft and design is alive and thriving in Britain today and these Awards successfully promote the work of talented designer makers internationally - not only to those who already have an awareness of the skills involved, but also to people who may not have yet discovered this wealth of creative talent. 

The Online Public Vote enables people to browse the site, vote for their favourite makers – and at the same time discover new and exciting work by craftsmen and women unknown to them.
Whilst the Public Vote plays a vital role in deciding the finalists for each category, the Invited Specialist Judges and craft&design panel bring an important element of expertise to the proceedings.

See our page here thank you for voting and keep it up!  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quick update

I have not been keeping up with a weekly blogg as I have been busy! We have just finished two bedside cabinets and nearly another wardrobe for the client that had the "giant" wardrobe just before Christmas.

I am pleased to say that our client has ordered the new coat hook designs so I should have some in situ photos available soon.

Our new collaboration with Dan Griffin and Roz, under the banner Griffin+Sinclair, is going well with lots of new ideas in the pipeline - chairs, shelving and tables - plus some new ideas for multi-functional furniture. All very stimulating and giving my work a new impetus so keep watching this space.

Lee Sinclair, 2013 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bill Amberg

The Griffin + Sinclair team attended a fantastic CPD talk by bill amberg last week. The incredible leather expert spoke about his love for leather and gave a step by step guide on how it is treated for different purposes. 

He passed around some of the most exquisitely soft pieces of leather we have ever touched and talked through different techniques such as knitting leather which gives an elasticity and could be used on the backs of chairs.

Favourite quote from the event...

'My designers work inside the workshop! It promotes creativity' Bill Amberg.

We know exactly what you mean!

You can watch the full talk here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Coat hook system

It is strange the buzz I get when I come up with a new design. This week I designed a new folding coat-hook system that seems to be original. That is where the "buzz" comes in, creating something that hasn't been done before.  I will devote a web page to it soon once we have the testing out of the way - at the moment my first prototype has six coats hanging from it and is looking good.

I have to thank one of our regular clients that suggested I look into the possibility of designing a system that fits in with the hallway furniture we made for him a couple of years ago. I have always believed that there is always a solution, it is just discovering the problem that needs resolving that sometimes eludes me.  The CONVERTABLE is an interesting point and arose out of necessity. I came up with that design because I was living in a small bedsit and realised that there would be a market for a multifunction table. I also realised that just because room was limited, it didn't mean that quality had to be sacrificed, and I still believe that.

One of my most testing clients and now a friend for over 20 years, set me many design problems that he saw as useful features. We designed door openers for his wardrobes so that both doors opened simultaneously by just pulling on one door. We counter balanced the dressing table mirrors so that the side mirrors could be adjusted for viewing when seated or standing and he made me realise the importance of the little details that blend to make good design.

Lee Sinclair 2013 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bedroom furniture

Well this week I have been mainly working on bedroom furniture.

Two oak chest of drawers and two bedside cabinets to go with the large wardrobe we made before Christmas. Next is another wardrobe but slightly smaller than the last one! In London tomorrow so might get to some galleries I hope.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Silver Seagul 1st installation

Last day of January and we kept to schedule on fitting the Jewellery shop. The customer is really pleased with the results. The finished shop looks just like my sketches which must be good!

Fitting was difficult as the builder, that came in after I had taken my measurements, plastered around the window recesses. This meant that the cabinet were nearly 50mm too wide! We spent all of yesterday morning chipping off the new plasterwork so we could fit them, but that is life and the finished result warranted the work.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Open Studios sign up

Cor, it's cold! Luckily we have good heating in the workshop but just to walk the 15 metres over is enough to chill me. Just joined the Woodweb - seems to be an American group with lots of useful information on techniques etc.

We are happy to say that we will be taking part in another Open Studios Notts in the spring of 2013, together with other artist/craftsmen in North Nottinghamshire.

This year we will be open for two consecutive weekends  25th - 27th May (including the bank holiday) and Friday 31st May - 2nd June. Hope some of you will call in.

East Midlands based Furniture designers and makers Lee Sinclair Furniture, custom build bespoke furniture to commission or chosen from a comprehensive portfolio of the finest original contemporary furniture. visit www.leesinclair.co.uk for further information.