Swill Bench

Designers: Lorna Singleton & Sebastian Cox

Swill Bench as seen on The Product Edit

Lorna Singleton is one of the young adults who have taken up the practice of Cumbrian swill basketry, learning from the South Lakes craftsman Owen Jones. Swilling is a process of tearing Oak along the grain of wood in order to keep the wood’s inherent strength and flexibility. The much less flexible alternative, timber, must be sawn across the grain at some point, which loses strength when we do so.

Swill Bench as seen on The Product Edit

Oak swill strips, when woven, can hold similar weights as timber at a fraction of the thickness. This has allowed Singleton & Cox to design this bench, and an accompanying stool, with a beautifully slim profile.

Swill Bench as seen on The Product Edit

Cox, a hugely successful woodworking studio (who’s work I’m sure I will write about more fully soon), manufactures the gently tapered English ash frame and Singleton weaves the English oak swill seats. The result is tactile, sturdy and achingly well proportioned.

Swill Bench as seen on The Product Edit

Both these items, and a couple that are a slightly more rustic, are for sale at The New Craftsman. It is worth noting, to their credit, that Singleton and Cox both manage coppiced woodland in Cumbria and Kent respectively and supply themselves with their own wood. Prices reflect this.

Swill Bench as seen on The Product Edit

More of Sebastian Cox’s work can be seen at sebastiancox.co.uk

Image Credit : The New Craftsman

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