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  Selected Makers

Lawrence Neal

Maker of rush-seated chairs
Most of the chairs were designed by Ernest Gimson who revived this old village craft of making ash chairs with rush seats during the Arts and Crafts movement.
Philip Clissett had been making chairs at Bosbury in Herefordshire since 1838 and Gimson took lessons from him in 1890. After establishing his workshops at Daneway in Gloucestershire he encouraged Edward Gardiner, a local young man to take up chairmaking.
Edward Gardiner later moved to Warwickshire and Neville Neal joined him as a pupil in 1939.
On Gardiner's death in 1958 Neville Neal moved to his present workshop and was joined by his son Lawrence in 1966.
Gimson's aim was to prove that well designed and skillfully executed chairs can be made by trained village craftsmen and be comparable with the best work of the old time chairmakers.
Also that the ash pole so plentifully found in our woodlands together with rushes from the river can be wrought into an article both useful and lasting.
Carefully made in a Warwickshire village honest and unassuming in the beauty of natural ash or oak, lightly waxed or stained to tone with old furniture, these strong and graceful chairs never fail to please.

 
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