Mary’s Chairs was established in 2015. Previously based in Oxfordshire at the Sylva Foundation Wood Centre, the business moved to the Isle of Skye in June 2023.
The workshop will continue to be a hive of creativity for lots of fabric-based crafts including upholstery, cushions, lampshades, patchwork, rug making, weaving and many more beautiful things.
Mary and Christine have taught over 150 students and have personally undertaken 250 chair restoration projects for clients, from tiny footstools to large chaise-lounges.
Mary trained at the Traditional Upholstery Workshop in Carmarthenshire and qualified as an upholsterer in 2014.
She set up Mary's Chairs, and the workshop moved to The Sylva Foundation Wood Centre in 2015.
The business grew from a small commission-based business to a full-time upholstery teaching workshop.
After eight years at Sylva, Mary decided to take on another challenge and combine her love of creativity with the outdoor life. She has now moved from Oxfordshire to the Isle of Skye where she is building a new workshop on the land behind her home.
In the meantime classes are continuing in a comfortable and well equipped room in her house.
She and her two lurchers are enjoying the challenge of their new adventure and all it offers.
Christine qualified in traditional and modern upholstery in 2016 from the City of Oxford College, attaining distictions in the AMUSF Craft Certificate qualifications (Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers).
As a chartered landscape architect she has always been very interested in design and has a particular love of colour and fabrics. She has many crafting skills including patchwork quilting, lampshades, and pottery and loves trying new traditional crafts.
Christine remains in Oxfordshire but continues to provide technical advice when needed and will be a visiting tutor, broadening the depth of courses we are able to offer in the future.
Our lovely Pip! She has to be one of the most loyal and intelligent dogs we’ve ever known.
She definitely misses her favourite students, but is embracing Island life and is glad we no longer have the morning commute from Wantage to Long Wittenham.
Dear Roah! He has found the move to Skye harder than Pip, and it is taking him longer to find his feet.
However, he has embraced the change in wildlife, and now happily seeks out geese and seagulls in exchange for squirrels and pigeons.
Mary’s Chairs Workshop,
Isle of Skye
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