Alan Flannery Furniture Design

Website detailing the bespoke furniture design and making business of Alan Flannery, Bristol, UK

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Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design 2019, a makers perspective.

As we come towards the end of July and the start of August certain annual patterns are noticeable in the workshop. The roller door is open fully to usher in welcome light and fresh air, and the fans busily turn their heads, keeping an eye on the work being done. It is not just the fans that are busy, the makers too are pulling out all the stops working towards an important deadline.

Over the last number of years, this time of year has for me, become synonymous with the preparation for the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, the largest selling exhibition of designer/maker furniture in the UK.

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2019 will be my fourth year exhibiting at the show and so it is starting to become a tradition, a yearly ritual where the summer months are a busy time spent designing and creating new pieces to be completed in time for the shows launch.

The exhibition requires makers to present work which has not been included in previous years ensuring no two visits to the Neo Classical Thirlestaine long gallery at Cheltenham College are the same. From a maker’s perspective, this stipulation creates an opportunity to get our thinking caps on, to create new work and to expand our portfolios. For those of us who do not have time to be as proactive as we would like in the creation of new pieces, the exhibition affords us the chance to design without the constraints of a brief, to make pieces that have been waiting patiently on the pages of our sketchbook since that day we were meant to be doing something more important.

An image from celebration of Craftsmanship 2016

An image from celebration of Craftsmanship 2016

This year’s exhibition is extra special as it is the 25th installment and its longevity is a testament to the organisers and the hard work they put in year round to ensure that the show not only survives but goes from strength to strength and in my opinion improves yearly. Bringing together the work of more than seventy makers the exhibition comprises mostly of bespoke furniture pieces and these are complimented by pieces of jewellery, sculpture art and glass. In total the number of exhibits exceed three hundred spread over five rooms. Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design is an excellent day out for those who have an interest in bespoke furniture or in craft in general. It provides a great opportunity to meet craftspeople and speak to them about their pieces and the stories behind them. Similarly for the makers it is a welcome break from the workshop, to spend a few dust free days meeting visitors who take an interest in and appreciate what you do and among a great community of craftspeople, the long evenings and weekends spent preparing seem very much worthwhile.

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Celebration and Craftsmanship 2019 runs from Saturday August 17th to Monday August 26th at the Thirlestaine Long Gallery in the grounds of Cheltenham College, bath road Cheltenham. The show runs each day from 10 Am until 4 Pm and it would great to see you there.

Mid-century Modern Show November 2018

Over the last number of years modern shows have given buyers an excellent opportunity to source the finest interior pieces from the golden age of design by staging a series of one day furniture fairs. These shows are not just an excuse to visit amazing host buildings but to see them furnished with mid century gems alongside the work of up and coming contemporary designers. The next show on their agenda is the Mid Century Modern show at Dulwich College, South London on Sunday November 18th 2018. This fair is a biannual event and is held in the brutalist Christison Hall, a light and airy mid century building created in the 1960’s from concrete and brick. This apt setting will play host to 85 sellers made up of dealers of furniture and interior products from the modernist era and 25 contemporary designers. These designers will be showcasing products ranging from ceramics, to wallpaper and from cushions to furniture and I am very happy to announce that I will be included among them.

This show is an exciting opportunity as it allows me to bring my work to a new audience and also affords me the opportunity to showcase the new pieces I have been working on this year. The prism coffee table pictured below is one of the pieces that will be on display at the fair and this has been a popular piece with clients during the year with variations having been made to order in a range of sizes and in a selection of species including Walnut, Cherry (as shown), Wenge and Ash.

Other pieces to be showcased on the day include, the Amplex Chair in ebonized Oak and grey Leather (shown at bottom), a Fleure side Table in European Oak, an Eala lamp and a Fleure Coffee Table in English Ash.

The fair is open from 10 am until 4 pm and tickets cost £10 with pre-show discounts available from the show website. For further details or to purchase tickets please click on the show poster image above. If you decide to attend please come by to say Hi.

House Beautiful March 2017

House Beautiful Magazine Cover March 2017

House Beautiful Magazine Cover March 2017

The March issue of House Beautiful Magazine is now on sale and we are delighted that our Retrospect sideboard has been included in the "New Seasons Trends" advertorial which can be viewed in the image below.

It is exciting to see one of our products among such a lovely array of household products. We especially love the animal print collection from 

The sideboard which is featured is created from solid walnut and features a bank of drawers which have been created using traditional hand-cut dovetail joints. It also features red trim between the cabinets and on the cabinet and drawer interiors. 2017 will see the retrospect range expand with sideboards made from different species of wood and with different coloured trim. It is also our aim to create Retrospect entirely from Birch Plywood which we feel will really compliment its Scandinavian aesthetic. This version will sit at the other end of the cost scale from our walnut version meaning that a clients can tailor their sideboard to suit their budget without compromising on style or on quality.

As with any of our products Retrospect are manufactured to order and for this reason each sideboard can be as individual as those who will use it for years to come. To find out more about our bespoke commissioning service click on the image below. 

Website Launch

It is with great excitement that I write the first post on this new website. The website is not all that is new, it is reflective of a new location, a new working environment in a new workshop and hopefully the creation of many new pieces of furniture. 

The first three months of 2016 have been very busy getting set up in the Vale Lane workshop in Bristol and planning projects for the quickly approaching summer months. As the evenings increase in length so too does the list of projects that are in the pipeline. The progress of these new products will be documented here as they pass through the design stages and move towards completion. 

Also in the pipeline is news regarding one of Britain's leading craft and design exhibitions which which will follow in the coming days.