Early Friday morning I rocked up at Ivory & Pitch in West Sussex with the requisite metre of fabric of my choice to make a footstool in a day.
Described on the Ivory&Pitch website as “Our new Classic Footstool Workshop, in collaboration with The Ministry of Upholstery, (featured on BBC1’s Money for Nothing) is a one-day creative extravaganza combining upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ techniques to produce a beautiful footstool to take home.”
On arrival I was a little apprehensive, but having previously enjoyed an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ workshop at the same venue I knew that the tuition would be spot on and the atmosphere relaxed.
I shouldn’t have worried at all as on arrival I was provided with a sturdy hardwood frame and all of the component parts and tools to make a the footstool. After an essential health and safety talk concerning the use of the compressed-air stapling gun the fun began.
Firstly, I had to choose a finish to apply to the legs of the footstool. With the help of Caroline Ivory I opted to use the new Annie Sloan black wax to complement my Loseley Park Lime linen. Once applied the legs were put on one side to cure.
Under the watchful eye of Caroline I worked through the step by step process to create my bespoke piece of furniture. From applying the webbing to gluing the foam cushion Caroline was on-hand to advise and assist whenever needed.
A little after midday we stopped for a delicious lunch of homemade soup, artisan bread and creamy brie. This was served in the shady courtyard adjacent to the workshop.
Refreshed and refuelled we returned to continue our work. Layer upon layer of differing materials were stretched, stroked, and stapled to the hardwood frame.
Mid-afternoon brought tea and cake and another brief break in the sunshine but there was no time to linger. The most critical stage was ahead of us – at last my chosen fabric would be applied to the footstool and it would be complete all bar the legs. Checking that the wax was dry, each leg was carefully positioned and tightly attached.
Barely able to contain my excitement the finished footstool was turned upright, and much to my delight it was perfect. Every single staple was perfectly aligned and each corner neatly finished. I was over the moon. My first venture into upholstery was a huge success thanks to the patience and direction of my teacher.
Back home the footstool was the last element to be added to my recently revamped living room, alongside my lovely John Sankey chair, upholstered in a combination of black velvet and Loseley Park linen.
For details of forthcoming courses visit the website at ivoryandpitch.co.uk