THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Last week Modern Mint visited Terry Facey, British Embassy furniture maker and now designer and craftsman of Green Oak and Iron furniture. He sums up his new range as “simple, environmentally friendly furniture”.
Terry has been selling his designs all over the world – and not just for private individuals. If you happen to find yourself in a British Embassy of some far off land, you may just stumble across one of his designs as for a long time he was a supplier to the Foreign Office.
“I’ve been a furniture designer and maker for over 40 years, though I started out restoring antiques. When you work on pieces like a Charles II veneered cabinet in yew or walnut, or a Georgian mahogany table, you get a real insight into just how beautiful wood can be in the hands of a craftsman.”
The wood Terry works with now is Green Oak.
What is Green Oak?
Green oak is oak that has not been kiln or air dried, making the character of the oak much more pronounced than other modern furniture.
Buying furniture made from green oak means that your furniture is interesting and unique. It will take on a beautiful patina as the oak shifts and moves.
Is Green Oak a good investment?
The Oak & Iron products are guaranteed to last. Green oak naturally twists and splits a little, which is part of the feature of this beautiful wood, however, if any wood is broken and needs replacing, with just one phone call it can be replaced. The oak is also so immensely chunky that any re-finishing (if required) is simple to do.
Is it sustainable?
All of the oak used in Terry’s products is sustainable oak sourced locally to the workshop in Surrey. He uses the ‘thinned out’ oak from large plantings. This is where smaller trees in plantations are removed to allow room for larger trees to grow. Green Oak and Iron have found a perfect way to recycle this by-product of woodland management.
Terry, ever the true artist, prefers to use polyx oil, a wax oil which gives a beautiful sheen to the Green Oak – and is environmentally friendly.
The Green Oak and Iron Range
The Oak and Iron range is based on a simple concept; just green oak and iron. There is a modern twist to it though; the iron bits come in a range of great colours allowing for a striking yet simple design suiting gardens, kitchens and conservatories.
All the products can be found on the Modern Mint shop.
Why do we like products like Oak and Iron?
Here at the Modern Mint shop we want to sell products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
We are fully aware of the impact mass consumerism has on our environment (and on a personal note, the impact a ‘desire to consume’ has on a healthy state of mind!) We encourage you to buy one well-made product that will last for years rather than a cheap product that will need replacing frequently.
And because the products we offer are often handmade we get to know their background, as well as their maker – our products remind us of the people we have met and stories we have heard.
Can we make our product even more unique?
While we were with Terry a lady came into the shop asking about his fireplaces. She wanted it slightly larger in size to the dimensions offered – and that is the great thing about using a craftsman, the product is not mass made, so the customer can get exactly what they want. If you like the Green Oak and Iron products we offer but would like to discuss a bespoke size option please email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – to discuss.
Support a craftsman, support our planet, and order a product from our Green Oak and Iron range today.
Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.
Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …
Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …