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National Centre for Craft & Design 2018

artsNK has teamed up with Framework/On Track North Kesteven, a local charity which tackles the causes and consequences of homelessness, to involve residents based at their supported accommodation unit at Sleaford Foyer.

The workshops on Thursday and Friday at the National Centre for Craft and Design are inspired by the new Second Sitter’s exhibition ‘Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution’, which opened on Saturday and features creative work from UK upholsterers.

artsNK commissioned socially engaged artist Katie Smith from Boston and ‘Guerrilla’ upholsterer Mick Sheridan from Swansea, whose work features in the exhibition, to work with the Framework residents.


words: Sleaford Standard

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Hannah Weston-Smith
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WORKSHOP: Footstool Upholstery Masterclass with Hannah Weston Smith.
National Centre for Craft & Design 2018

This two-day masterclass will cover an introduction to upholstery, providing participants with the skills to create a charming footstool. 

DEMONSTRATION: Saturday 6 May, morning

SCP’s upholstery factory Coakley & Cox Ltd will upholster their iconic Matthew Hilton Balzac chair frame live over the course of the morning. Throughout the day, featured upholsterers from the show will use identical Balzac frames as blank canvasses to upholster in their own unique style. Completed chairs will then be on display for the remainder of the exhibition.

Demonstration Details:

free demonstration

Booking information:

No booking necessary

Mick Sheridan
WORKSHOP: Saturday 20 May, 10am - 5pm

Traditional upholstery with Mick Sheridan. Upholster and take home a milking stool using traditional materials and techniques. Each stool is handmade using reclaimed ash and will be finished using a selection of Welsh woollen fabric from Melin Tregwynt. The workshop is designed for complete beginners.

"The stools are handmade in reclaimed ash by a local craftsman in my village. Each is unique. The workshop is designed for complete beginners but will certainly teach new skills to crafts people at all levels. It's a busy day but I have it on good authority that it's 'very satisfying' and just think, you'll take home a splendid little stool that's hand-made (mainly by you) from 100% natural materials and made in the traditional way."

Image courtesy of Make it in Wales

Workshop Details:


All tools and materials provided

Booking information:

Booking via Eventbrite 

Rachael South
WORKSHOP: Tuesday 9 May, 10am - 5pm



Chair caning can be a great addition to any upholstery/restoration practise.


Suitable for beginners this one day class will be an opportunity for upholsterers to learn the traditional 6 way woven pattern to a professional standard. You'll complete all 6 stages (the whole process) on a small practise frame in one day. As well as learning 6 way pattern Rachael will also get an overview of the materials and history of the craft and its applications.


Rachael is a third generation caner and seatweaver, taught by her father who learned from his father.

Workshop Details:


Practise frames to take away, materials and tools are provided.

Booking information:

Booking via Eventbrite

A Sustainable Future
PANEL DISCUSSION: Thursday 18 May,
2.30 - 3.30pm

Hosted by design journalist Katie Treggiden the panel will consist of makers and industry professionals discussing the issues around design, upholstery, sustainability and the circular economy.

There will be opportunity either side of the discussion to visit the exhibition 'Second Sitters Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution', speak with the curators and watch upholsterer Armand Verdier demonstrate French upholstery techniques in the demo area.

The Panel Discussion is kindly supported by Short Courses at The Cass, London Metropolitan University.


Tim Cox, Ella Doran, Alex Law, Corrine Webb

Panel Discussion Details:


Booking information:

Booking via Eventbrite

Armand Verdier
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Armand verdier_secondsitters_geffryeMuse

Armand Verdier

The Geffrye Museum of the Home


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