William Warren

London based product and furniture designer

Woodland to Workshop course

In the spring this year I attended a course set up by Woodland Heritage called ‘Woods to Workshop’. The course was held in Whitney Sawmill in Herefordshire and covered information about the planting and growing of trees, woodland management, timber felling, the pricing of saw logs and finally cutting the logs into planks and ‘sticking’ them for drying.

An amazing three days of intense learning. A walk in the woods will never be the same again.

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Show at Design Junction

Here’s a snapshot of the Elves and the Chairmakers show at Design Junction. The work was received fantastically well with John Lewis, Heals and The Conran Shop all expressing an interest in stocking the pieces once they were in production. It was also a joy to put up and take down with the other four designers.

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The Great Windsor Chair Race 2012

The Great Windsor Chair Race went off for a second year (look here for the previous year) at the wonderful Contemporary Crafts Fair in Bovey Tracy, Devon. Racing this year were Carl Clerkin and Chris Eckersley as well as a new racer, Gareth Neal. We were kindly given a much larger space in the fair than last year, following our previous sucesses, and we had slightly better weather too.

As with last year, the rough brief for the weekend was to make…

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Billy Tombola

I recently compared the Tombola evening at Case furniture and was in charge of giving away a whole load of furniture for free, including one of my own Sunray chairs. Case was fantastically generous all night and the beer didn’t stop flowing. There’s already talk of doing the same thing next year on a bigger scale.

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The Fife Bench in production

Chris Eckersley and I went up to Fife the other day to see the benches in production. Envirovent have made a lovely job of making them.

The benches are being delivered to Fife council this week and should be installed pretty soon.

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Furniture Designer of the Year

It was a great honor to be shortlisted for Designer of the Year this year by Homes and Gardens magazine, alongside Sam Hecht and (the winners) Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay from Raw Edges.

The award ceremony was held at the British Museum.

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Sunray in production

Here are some shots of the Sunray Chairs being manufactured in China for Case Furniture.

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The Great Windsor Chair Race 2011

Chris Eckersley, William Warren and Carl Clerkin were the three designers competing in The Great Windsor Chair Race, held at the Contemporary Craft Fair 2011 at Bovey Tracey in Devon. All three designers had previously worked together on their various Bodging Projects.

The aim of the race was to see who could produce the most new windsor chairs over the three-day event in an impromptu  workshop in a rather rainy craft show. The legendary British chair-makers ERCOL kindly donated a selection of steamed bows,…

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Stair boob

Jona and Hannah are friends of mine. They’re doing up an old Victorian house in Peckham and making a lovely job of it. At the bottom of the stairs a previous DIY enthusiast has destroyed the wooden post top and I was asked if I could turn up a new one. I agreed to do it as long as I could make it a nice boob. Here’s my efforts fresh off the lathe.

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No Parking Bench Kazakh style

Here’s a shot of a lovely No Parking bench we found in a mountain Ice rink in Kazakhstan.

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Crane TV interview

I recently gave an interview for Crane TV, an online magazine for contemporary Art and Design. They were interested to hear about my development of the Sunray Chair which is now being manufactured by Case. Also in the film is Matthew Hilton and Shin Azumi who both work as designers for Case.

See the short film here.

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Irish Stools

I visited friends in Ireland recently and although I was only there for a few days, managed to get two stools made. In fact, Toby and I went straight into the workshop as soon as I arrived and set up a little lathe he’s bought of a friend. We decided to produce two stools to go into Toby’s kitchen.

Toby Hatchett is a maker of beautiful kitchens. We have done several furniture projects together in the past and it was lovely to…

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Joy Of Living

The design critic and editor of the London Design Guide, Max Frazer, has organised a project to raise awareness and money for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. 100 designers were asked to contribute an artwork on a piece of A4 graph paper, responding to the brief ‘the joy of living’. The pieces were put on sale at an exhibition in Somerset House.

I was asked by Max to contribute an artwork for this project and. I thought a naked lady would be…

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Over the weekend,  myself and Gareth Neal went down to Hastings to learn how to make Sussex Trugs. We were taught by John Carnell who has been making trugs for many years. He is one of the few trug makers who uses only hand processes, splitting his wood down into planks rather than cutting it on a machine. John was an excellent teacher and great company.

The Sussex Trug is a type of traditional basket made in the South East. Originally,…

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guitar making

I’ve been making an acoustic guitar. There are some really lovely techniques that have evolved over hundreds of years, all aimed at making the guitar as strong but still as light as possible.

The guitar is a 1;18 Martin parlour. I’ve used cherry for the back and sides, spruce for the front and mahogany for the neck with a load of other woods. Whatever I can find really.

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Lauren’s poster

I had a very sweet email from Lauren, aged 12, last night. She has been asked to make a poster about me at school, and she wanted a few facts. When she had finished she sent me her poster and said it would be alright if I put it on my blog, so here it is. Thank you Lauren.

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myplace youth centres

Design consultant for the Sorrell Foundationon, helping to develop four new youth centres… The centres are to be built over the next two years (2010 -2011)

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Building Superclients

In June 2010, William ran a workshop for the Sorrell Foundation, aimed at building ‘Superclients’. Young people from Croydon and Kingston were given information on designing educational environments so that they would be able to disseminate this knowledge to their peers over the coming year.

The graphic seen above is part of the toolkit publication, an interactive digital publication that documents the process they went through at the workshop. The toolkit will act as a reminder and provides the young people with resources…

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The Fife bench

I am currently working on a series of benches for Fife in Scotland. The benches will be installed within the next year in a number of parks and public spaces. In fact five sites in Fife on the Firth of Forth.

The Fife bench project is an initiative of the Fife Housing Association Alliance, devised by public art commissioning agency PACE.

I am working on the project with another designer, Chris Eckersley. It was Chris who originally set up the Bodging Milano project. Nick Farr is…

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Cov Bodge

As a direct development of the Bodging Milano project, the same nine designers were invited to traditional chair manufacturers Sitting Firm in coventry. The designers were given the run of the factory for three days and allowed access to the well stocked stores of component parts and the specialist chair making equipment.

In the three days, I managed to produce three chairs; two armchairs of the same design and a dining seat.

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bodging milano

From 30th March to April 5th 2010, nine designers went in the woods of deepest Herefordshire. With the help of Gudrun Leitz and her assistant Paul, each designer had to make a greenwood chair in the outdoor workshop. The challenge was in getting out of the studio, away from drawing boards, computer screens, and mechanised equipment and back into the hands-on world of the original country chair-makers. In the woods there is no electricity, only pole lathes, steam benders and some…

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