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Fri, 14 Jun


Philip Koomen Furniture

Special - Designer Makers Weekend, OXFORDSHIRE

A unique opportunity to learn new innovative techniques and work alongside two international master-craftsmen-designers, Philip Koomen PhD, and Charlie Whinney. Get involved and enjoy putting your new skills to use developing exciting new seating concepts.

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Special - Designer Makers Weekend, OXFORDSHIRE
Special - Designer Makers Weekend, OXFORDSHIRE

Time & Location

14 Jun 2019, 19:00 – 15 Jun 2019, 17:00

Philip Koomen Furniture, Wheelers Barn, Checkendon, Reading RG8 0NJ, UK

About the event

Join a professional creative team for a weekend in an established workshop, learning, making, thinking and collaborating with master-craftsmen Charlie Whinney (master steam-bender, international artist and designer) and Philip Koomen PhD FRSA (renowned and inspirational furniture designer-maker, over 40 years he has done almost everything there is to do for a furniture maker). Gain new skills and confidence and stretch your creativity by taking part in the design and creation of two new ground-breaking chair prototypes over two days.


7.00pm – 9pm (optional) - BBQ and introduction to the project and the 3500sq ft workshop, see Philip’s 'From Forest to Furniture' cycle, rethinking sustainable use of timber in furniture.



10am – 11.30am - Masterclass in steam-bending, includes 3 types of compression strap, twisting, splitting, joints and free-bending


11.45am – 1.15pm – Masterclass in developing experimental sculptural forms by hand, using bandsaw, table-saw, and spindle moulder. Techniques also include: curved laminating, stack laminating and vacuum pressing. Use of model making in the creative process will also be highlighted.


2.15pm – 3.30pm – Experiment sessions, working in small groups mixing different processes learnt and genres of woodwork together to create new unique sculptural/useful works!


3.45pm – 4.15pm – Slideshow, talk and discussion exploring the relationship between making and ecology, design and sustainability.

4.15pm – 5pm – Group session designing, brain-storming chair designs– start the prototype process…!

Extra time available if required.


10am – 10.30am - Presentation of the two chair designs taking elements from the previous day, draw up a list of making tasks and split into groups.

10.30 – 11.30 – Making time!


11.45am – 1pm – Professional sharpening class (optional) and making time.


2pm - 3pm– Review progress and making time.

3pm – 3.15pm – Sitting tests and group review


3.30pm – 4pm – Final Tweaks and photography


Please book via

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About Charlie Whinney and Philip Koomen

Philip and Charlie have over 50 years’ experience between them. Their different practices cover a huge range of work from very fine furniture for historic buildings batch production and lighting to fine art, product design and large scale installations. Their work can be found in collections all around the world.

Both makers share a love of new ideas and processes. This unique weekend will leave you rejuvenated, more confident and energised with a new ideas and a deeper understanding of wood.

Workshop cancellations by you

We try our best to price our workshops as fairly as possible and offer good value for money. We therefore have to have a clear cancellation policy to ensure that we cover our costs and the ongoing viability of the workshop.

We urge you to carefully check your diary to ensure that you are available to attend any workshops you are booking with us.

If circumstances change, or something pops up and you are unable to attend, unfortunately all our workshops and classes are non-refundable.

If you give more than 14 days notice to cancel a place on a workshop your options are as follows:

• We will be happy to transfer you to another workshop, space permitting.

• If there are no suitable future dates for you to transfer to we can provide a voucher to be used for a future workshop booking.

• You can of course send someone in your place at any time, but please note that this is your responsibility to find a replacement person and you must let us know in advance who will be attending.

If you give less than 14 days notice to cancel a place on a workshop then your options are as follows:

• If you would like to transfer, we can only transfer you to a future workshop if your place is re-sold.

We will do our best to fill the place within this time. Please be aware that in our experience it can be difficult to fill places on workshops at short notice.


  • Designer Makers Weekend

    Sale ended
  • Student Discount (25% off)

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