Magical memories conjured from wood

An Edinburgh graduate has just had one of her pieces exhibited at the Scottish parliament.

Helen Guy, originally from Hertfordshire, is now setting up Sherrardswood Bespoke Furniture in Edinburgh, offering a complete design, build and restoration service.

Helen is a well-travelled woman whose career in IT and banking took her around the world.  Travelling with her family she lived in Australia, Singapore and the USA before settling in Edinburgh.

She then took a one-week short course at the Chippendale International School of Furniture before enrolling for a full-time one year immersive course.

One of the course pieces that she designed is her Magical Memory Chest, a beautiful and unusual piece of furniture inspired by visits to various stately homes whilst attending the school.  The chest is veneered with walnut and the legs made from a walnut tree taken from her sister’s Suffolk garden.   It is lined with lustrous copper leaf so that when opened, it conjures an explosion of light.

“It was designed to be a place to store memories; a place for old photographs or school reports; a slightly magical piece of furniture to celebrate family life and the passing of years,” said Helen.

It was chosen from over 100 other pieces of furniture, from other Chippendale graduates from around the world, to be exhibited at the Scottish parliament.

Helen’s chest, beautifully inlaid with walnut veneer in a fluid and organic pattern that seems to reflect the ebb and flow of memory itself, was chosen by Professor Chris Breward, principal of Edinburgh College of Art and a leading Scottish arts commentator.

“It was a huge honour to be selected to exhibit my Memory Chest at the parliament, and I want to bring the same thoughtful approach to items I create in the future” said Helen.

“Good furniture design is much more than simply creating a chair or table.  It’s about recognising how precious things have a place in our lives, and that designing and making furniture should be about creating something that resonates on a personal level,” she said.


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