Catchweasel is a small company that designs and manufactures handmade furniture, using traditional cabinet-making techniques. Most pieces are one-off commissions but we also (if pressed) undertake major projects.
Our style is modern English folk, or as someone else once described it ‘Mid-century Medieval’.
Through a close working relationship with a forester based in Kent, almost all of the wood we use is from slow grown native timber.
Catchweasel clients include a handful of celebrities, major London churches and institutions, as well as many private commissions. Recent work has included making 54 chairs for the Dutch Church (in the City of London) and 13 desks and a boardroom table for Rob da Bank and his Bestival crew.
Catchweasel is a registered Limited Liability Partnership.
Commissioning a piece of furniture usually starts by talking over the practical aspects, such as how many people you want to seat at a dining table, or what it is you want to hide in a cabinet.
We’ll show you examples of completed work and samples of different types of timber and surface finishes.
We will go away to sketch out some ideas for you and then create a scale drawing for a chosen design. For a complex piece we might make a scale model to help you visualise it.
Once you are happy with a design we agree a final price and timescale for the delivery of the piece.
Sometimes our clients like to visit the sawmill and see the rough sawn timber firsthand. We’re always happy to arrange this.
Catchweasel furniture takes many forms, according to our clients’ preferences, but there is a unifying style that runs through the pieces.
Great care is taken to choose the most engaging pieces of timber to bring warmth and character to all of our work.
Below is a selection of our recent output in its varying shapes.
A strange beast. Perhaps the world’s first antlered throne and footrest combination.
Made from European oak, with zebrano upright and real antlers.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph Magazine, Rob da Bank (DJ and Bestival originator) declared our own Very Deer Chair to be the best present he’d ever received.
One of Catchweasel’s main aims is to bring pleasure through furniture so this was high praise.
We spend a lot of time in windy places. It has begun to affect us.
This set of tables is influenced by some windblown trees that we often cycle past. The tables nestle together to give the silhouette of a gnarled old tree.
This is a bit of festival of local English timbers, using Walnut, Spalted Beech, London Plane and Holm Oak to name but a few – all of which came from within 40 miles of the Big Smoke.
A more scuptural addition to the range. This chaise is based on a series of windswept trees at Cheverton, near the south coast of the Isle of Wight – that and a love of making furniture that looks like an animal on the move.
If we were pretentious we might describe the style as DYNAMIC ZOOMORPHISM.
The wood used here is all from trees that grew in South London and Kent. The seat is made from South London Sycamore (a well-hardwood), whilst the back legs are made from Elm and the front from Oak – both of which were grown and felled in Kent.
A small side table in which you can store your magazines and papers. It’s a faithful armchair companion.
The original Paperhound had an elm ‘head’ and legs, oak top and birch ply body, but there have been many permutations of it since then.
A new version of the old hound is available with added ears.
We have a limited number of hounds in stock, or custom editions are available to order.
The in stock hounds are priced at £475.
… or the act of being provided with a console.
This desk is designed to look light on its feet. Its slender, elm legs support a top that is made from London Plane. This wood is rarely available as London Plane is not grown commercially for timber. You have to wait for a bus to knock one down and then know a friendly tree surgeon in order to get your hands on it.
London Plane is special timber because it is both very strong and has a distinct and beautiful figure in its grain that is known as lacing. This lacing creates a series of swirling patterns across the top of the desk.
On one of his rural tours, Mr Catchweasel happened upon a stock of old French walnut in a small timber yard in deepest Kent. This wood is hard to work with because it has so many knots in it, but the effort is worthwhile.
This piece will mellow and change with time and will be become even more characterful as the years progress.
Made from a mixture of European and American walnut, with maple drawer sides and an oak top.
The upper surface of the oak top is polished with black wax.
Black walnut cupboard and shelves, incorporating a drinks cabinet and room for your humidor, of course.
With hand carved ash handles.
Here we have a co-ordinated set of bathroom furniture. The wall cabinet is black walnut of a dovetailed construction, with a door of European oak and English Elm. The grey hare (hair, ha ha) in the mirror is a nod to the fact that none of us is getting any younger, and is provided by Lush Designs.
The window ledge, also of English Elm, shares the waney edge of the cabinet. The walnut used in the bath panel was salvaged from the ceiling of an old house that was being disembowelled.
The timber and natural edges contrast with the rubber flooring and chrome to lend some tranquility.
The wood is finished with a natural oil that will keep it looking good for a long time to come.*
A bespoke set of bathroom furniture like this starts from around £800.
*does not apply to owner.
Elm and Perspex table top with oak wishbone and yew legs
This dining table was made to go with some chairs that one of our clients had bought in a sale at Heal’s. It seats up to eight for dinner.
The table top is made from French walnut, with American black walnut legs.
It is finished with a chamfer on the underside of the top to lend it a lightness, whilst the arched support at the top of the table leg echoes the curve of the back of the chairs.
This table reflects the natural flamboyance of the man for whom it was made. It is a statement of what can be done when you create a restrained design and you let the wood do the talking.
The top is made of spalted beech and the legs from oak, sourced from a 400 hundred year old tree toppled in a gale on an estate in Surrey.
Often beech can be a rather neutral, ‘beige’ wood, but in this case the timber has had a fungus growing through it. When the tree is cut the fungus dies and forms black viens through the wood. It is this so-called ‘spalting’ that gives it its dramatic figure.
Front door made around glass panels recycled from an old church.
Designs on the screens courtesy of www.lushlampshades.co.uk
After some initial bemusement when people asked whether we had any T-shirts bearing the Catchweasel logo we were prodded into action and had some printed.
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They are chocolate brown, heavyweight cotton and available in sizes from youth XL (34″) to adult L (44″). The price per shirt is £20 GBP including UK postage. Please contact Richard if you would like one.