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Brian Crossley

Today, the craft of Caning is almost exclusively associated with the restoration of seating furniture, it having been practiced in England from around 1670.  The craft and material has experienced all the usual fashion changes, with periods of intense popularity and other periods when it was out of fashion.  My Mother practiced this craft in Altrincham, Cheshire from around 1920 and, having taught me, I have continued as a second generation Caner for over 40 years.

Consequently the range of re-caning commissions I have undertaken has been very extensive and from all periods and countries– from a child’s chair to 3 piece bergere suites, with endless permutations of caned furniture design in between.  A large workshop allows any size of furniture to be accommodated, with a special facility for large items to be manipulated such that the panel to be caned can be placed in the optimum position for re caning.

The types of caning undertaken cover virtually every possible pattern and technique.  These include varied chair back patterns, blind caning, double caning, bentwood chairs and machine woven cane.  Additionally, furniture which uses Danish Cord or Seagrass is restored.  Alternative patterns and designs utilising cane, but not associated with furniture, are being developed to generate new concepts in caning practice and usage.

To ensure that the crafts do not die out I run two, day long workshops, in Chester each month, with student skills ranging from beginners to very experienced.  Activities also include demonstrations and talks about the craft to many varied groups.

Research on the worldwide history of cane, caning and caned furniture has been a continuous activity, resulting in a unique personal knowledge of the craft particularly in Europe, America and the Far East.

 
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