Bodgers and the Windsor Chair

Join us for a free series of presentations by manufacturers, designers and historians to discuss High Wycombe's famous history of bodging and the Windsor Chair.

17 April 2015 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Wrights Meadow Centre, Wrights Meadow Road
Wycombe Marsh High Wycombe
HP11 1SQ

Chairs for Arching, is a triptych of talks and discussions on the history of chairs and celebratory arches in High Wycombe. The first talk in the series looked at how the Chair Arches of High Wycombe have inspired designers internationally while locally serving as a symbol celebrating the town's industry and identity.

The second event will take place on 17th of April 2015 at the Wrights Meadow Community Centre in Wycombe Marsh. It will explore the tradition of the Windsor chair and its evolution throughout the years. We will be joined by furniture historian Dr Bernard Cotton, artist and craftsman Stuart King and professor in furniture Jake Kaner. Each speaker will give a short presentation followed by an open discussion.

public works will use the opportunity to present their proposal for the forthcoming Chair Arch made with a custom designed chair which loosely references the Windsor tradition.

The final event of the series will coincide with the construction of the new Chair Arch on the new Wye Dene development.

The event is part of Masterclasses in Sitting, an art commission lead by public works for the Wye Dene development in High Wycombe. Taking as the starting point High Wycombe's rich history as the centre for furniture production, public works proposes a project, which uses 'sitting' as a way of relating and connecting the new Wye Dene estate with High Wycombe, its past and future. 

The project is lead by Andreas Lang from the artist group public works, it forms part of an art commission for Wye Dene, curated by Futurecity on behalf of Berkeley Homes


Dr Bernard 'Bill' Cotton is a furniture historian who has pioneered the study of vernacular furniture in both the UK and in Countries where the British settled. He has travelled widely, often with his wife Gerry, to record the regional traditions of furniture made for the homes of working people , over a forty year period. His extensive archive is a major resource of design and social history information and his collection of some four hundred English regional chairs is now gifted to the Geffrye museum.
His published work includes 'The English Regional Chair' (ACC. 1990 ). More recently he has completed his major work 'Scottish Vernacular Furniture' (Thames and Hudson. 2008 ) which for the first time identifies the chair and other furniture designs made there.
He was co founder, with Christopher Gilbert, of the Regional Furniture Society and is presently the society's Emeritus President.

Jake Kaner is professor in furniture at Bucks New University. He has been involved with documenting the furniture industry through the curation of the High Wycombe Furniture Archive. Funding awarded form the arts and humanities research council supported the digitisation project which captured 16,000 images and text from the archive. The material covers the High Wycombe manufacturers, Ercol, Gomme (G-Plan) and Skull. The website that disseminates the material has been highly successful receiving an average of 100,000 hits per month since its launch in 2009. Currently Jake is working to digitise the William Birch archive in partnership with the Wycombe Museum. This material illustrates design books for art furniture that was made for Liberty's of London between 1890 and 1910. A further project involving the designs of Ib Kofod-Larsen, a Danish designer who worked for G-Plan in the 1960s, involves creating computer based models of furniture that was never put into production. Jake is also a trustee for Wycombe Heritgae and Arts Trust.

Stuart King was born in the Buckinghamshire village of Holmer Green in 1942, and played as a child in the local Beech woods. The countryside and the trades and traditions of those that shaped it over centuries have always fascinated him and influenced his work.
Stuart spent a lifetime researching, recording and collecting anything about the rural past and today is recognised as a well-known artist craftsman, demonstrator, international lecturer and photo-journalist. He is still actively recording traditional crafts, local landscape and history via photography and video and occasionally appears on TV.