Last week I went on a rather lovely day trip to Princes Risborough. A 6 a.m start was very much worth it to visit Ercol H.Q.
The very lovely team invited me along with a few other bloggers and members of the press to view their factory and showroom ( check out this lovely ‘ Bosco ‘ bed above ) and see how their furniture is made. it’s an annual Open House that lasts two weeks and is well worth the trip.
Did you know that in 3 years Ercol will have be 100 years old ? They are still family owned having been founded by Lucian Ercolani OBE and now owned by Edward Tadros whom I had the pleasure of having lunch with and Lisa, Ercol’s designer. I’d just like to apologise now to Lisa, Ercol’s designer for the one hundred questions that I asked her over a superb and tasty lunch about her career – although Lisa was more than happy to answer them. It was just too tempting and an opportunity not to miss … and to be fair that’s what I was there for !
As a massive fan of their designs it was a real honour to be included in the day and I couldn’t wait to see how they work through their design and hands on manufacturing process – and it didn’t disappoint.
Luckily for you I forgot to get a photo taken of me in my high vis jacket and goggles on the tour as we made our way around the factory watching as they hand crafted each Ercol piece from raw local wood right up to the finished product.
This smooth pile of table parts were just before they were matched up to ensure the grain and colours are exact. The man who showed us clearly had a strong eye for precision because I couldn’t see any difference but he could see a very slight contrast in the pieces and said they wouldn’t be used together.
My two favourite areas were watching the process of steam bending the wood with precision and then spraying coats of paint on to chairs. The talented craftsmen make it look so effortless – I’m pretty sure it’s just the years of dedication that gives that impression. It felt very serene in the factory even with all the noise of the machines and the levels of concentration for absolute perfection were impressive.
It was also really interesting to see how different stores ask for varying finishes and palettes. Every part of a design process thought through and considered for their customers.
With their trademark functional designs – Ercol have produced some beauties this year. Including the ‘ Amelia ‘ sideboard with matching chair and ‘ Teramo ‘ range including this wonderful dressing table.
As ever the classic designs such as stackable stools drew my attention as did the steam bent ‘ Chairmaker’s Chair ‘. Apparently they come in a choice of wood finishes and colours. I really like this blue and the fabric.
All of these collections will be available in Autumn 2017. If you’d like to find out more pop over to www.ercol.com
A really insightful day in Buckinghamshire followed by a very early night !
Are you a fan of Ercol too ? Or is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards when looking for new furniture for your home ?Do leave me a comment – would love as ever, to hear from you.