The Furniture Makers’ Company was delighted to accept a specially designed and hand-made chair for His Royal Highness Prince George from Katie Walker on October 31 at the Carpenter’s Hall.
A competition was run by the Furniture Makers to select the designer maker of the chair from a short list of five eminent Bespoke Guild Mark holders: Matthew Burt, David Colwell, Jake Phipps, James Ryan and Katie Walker.
Commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, Katie Walker was the designer of the winning entry. The chair was made in West Sussex by her and Roger Smith of Katie Walker Furniture.
Chairman of the Judges, Hugh Garforth-Bles, said “We had many quality entries to design the first chair for our future King but Katie came up with the best modern and original design. The chair is much more intricate to make than it appears. It will be perfect for its use by Prince George.
The chair is made in Rippled Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) supplied by Sutton Timber. Felled in 2001, the wood originated from the Longleat Estate and was selected by forester John McHardy. Grown amongst Dog’s Mercury (Mercurialis perennis), the Ash was picked because it would be particularly white. The chair was finished with white tinted hard wax oil. The safety harness has been supplied by Clippasafe and has a webbing colour combination specifically produced for this chair.
Katie Walker commented, “I was thrilled to win such a commission; not only is it a chance to create a real piece of history but it is wonderful to be chosen to represent my profession”.
The design was guided pre-dominantly by the functional aspects of the design of a high chair. The back rest curves around the body for comfort and provides a sense of containment. This curve also allows one front leg to flow seamlessly into the other. In order to achieve this, the front legs and the top rail of the backrest are steam bent. All other curved elements are laminated from 1.5mm Ash veneer or Birch plywood.
Katie Walker studied at the Royal College of Art. Her pieces can be found in public and private collections worldwide. Her collection comprises of a number of signature pieces which are constantly evolving and are produced using the finest materials, with meticulous attention to detail. All pieces are hand made in the UK.
Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will receive the gift of Prince George’s high chair from the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers in November. The chair will be the first to be sat in by our future King.
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