What kind of timber do you use?

I use only the woods harvested from the Knysna/Tsitsikama forest area, which is where my workshop is situated. I feel strongly that craftspeople have to take responsibility for the sustainable harvesting of their materials. The indigenous forest’s here are managed by the South African National Parks, and I know from close inspection of the logs I buy,  that prime trees are not being taken out for financial gain. Being part of, and interacting closely with this woodworking community and related industry, I will know if the situation changes and be able to react to the change. Logs are sawn into planks to my specifications and air dried.  Fourty years of working with the full range of these beautiful hardwoods, Cape Beech, Black Ironwood, Hard Pear, African Holly, Candlewood, Stinkwood, White Alder and White pear to mention a few favorites, has given me the knowledge needed to select the right timber for your piece of furniture.

What is it you actually do?

I make freestanding solid wood furniture and lathe turned bowls. I describe my work as combining traditional cabinetmaking technique with contemporary design.

How is your furniture finished and what maintenance is necessary?

The wood is first saturated with a mixture of Tung and Turpentine oils, to bring out the colour. When this has dried it is rubbed down and polished to a soft sheen with my personal blend of natural oils and waxes. This is the base on which patina, the lusture created by your contact over the years, develops.

You would polish, if you felt the furniture was looking dull and losing colour, with a good quality furniture polish, rubbed on with extra fine abrasive pad to clean the surface. I can supply the polish/abrasive pad as needed.

How is the furniture supplied and do I need to assemble?

My furniture is supplied in its final form ready for immediate use, no assembly is required.

Do you deliver?

Within South Africa I use a door-to-door courier service. The cost of packaging (wrapped in bubblewrap and corrugated cardboard) is included in the quoted price, and the courier fee is paid by yourself on delivery. I make all the necessary arrangements. An indication of cost; a Springwood Lounger with footstool, delivered to a Johannesburg address costs approximately R1120.00 and to a Cape Town address will cost approximately R770.00 ( door to door including insurance).

For international deliveries of chairs and smaller items airfreight is the most cost effective. An indication of approximate costs; a Springwood Lounger with footstool to John F Kennedy Airport, New York will cost R7 450.00 to Heathrow Airport, London costs R6 680.00 and to Frans Joseph Strauss Airport in Munich R6 260.00. For larger item international deliveries I facilitate the shipping process by obtaining quotes and dealing with the documentation on this side. I advise clients to make use of a local import shipping agent to facilitate the process on their side as “local knowledge” plays a big part when dealing with the customs process.

What is the waiting period on the furniture?

The Springwood Lounger is usually in stock and available. Other chairs are made up on order from a stock of components and are available in about 4 to 6 weeks. Commissions can take from 6 to 12 months depending on my order book and what you are looking for.

Everything is made by myself, and the quality of the work is not negotiable in favour of time. 

Richard Henley © 2020