Melinda Schwakhofer, who graduated from The Chippendale International School of Furniture in 1999, built this bed as her final project on the furniture design, furniture making and furniture restoration course.
Melinda, who is now a fibre artist, created the headboard art quilt at the same time as the bed, which she calls ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’. The bed quilt was created in 2012.
“This bed represents a journey from a time when I was still looking for a place called home to a time when I have found it. I’ve built a lot of the story of that journey into the quilts that complete the bed I made at the furniture school.”
The bed is due to be displayed at the International Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham from 16th to 19th August this year.
“The bed is made from wood found in the drying shed, either olive ash or elm.
“I made a full-size paper pattern, traced it onto the wood and used a bandsaw to shape most of the branches. We joined the branches with half-lapped joints, then I spent hours with wood files and sandpaper to shape and smooth them. The branches were morticed and tenonned into the surrounding frame and I think we used some Bondo at one point. Anything to make it work!
“I had brought a French Provincial bed over from America. We cannibalized the mattress support rails and the metal rods hidden in the base of the bed posts which they hooked over, then integrated them into the new bed frame.
“I faxed my quilt pattern and colorway to my friend in California and she bought and posted the fabric to me. I used some sheer yellow fabric from John Lewis for the sunbeam shining onto the glade. It was my first time using a sheer fabric and I felt quite excited about it!
“I dyed a duvet cover with Procion dyes and used walnut wood stain on the valance.”
You can contact Melinda via:
Thanks are due to Scottish photographer Derek Ramage for the photographs. www.derekramagephotography.co.uk