A Haven indoors or out.

 

Barlow Tyrie’s outdoor “Haven Chair” is built to withstand any weather, any season, any where.

After our finisher, Sakib, waves his magic finishing wand, it looks great as an indoor chair that doesn’t overwhelm a small space. Shown with the matching footstool.

(The footstool just looks a little larger than it is; we forgot the telephoto lens at home.)

New Elizabeth Bar Stool

We’ve been building our Elizabeth Chair for a number of years, but this is our first Elizabeth Bar Stool. Under the watchful eye of Ian Johnstone, our newest team member, Nick Blacklaws,did a beautiful job of building a matched pair of Curly Cherrywood stools.

Although this quick pic is of one of the stools just 2 days old, you can easily see the curly figure starting to show. This will develop over the next year or two to show the spectacular result of  carefully-matched Curly Black Cherrywood  (Prunus serotina).

Enjoy your gorgeous new bar stools, Rob!

The Birth Of A Table

This is an example of a beautiful Black Cherrywood log which we recently purchased. You can see that it has been sawn into a number of planks of even thickness, ideal for a large dining table or two. We are very fortunate to have a close relationship  with a family-owned sawmill located near the finest sustainably-harvested Black Cherrywood in the world. Their sawing method, known as “through and through sawing”, yields maximum width boards which are perfectly matched in grain and colour. This allows us to build table tops, cabinet drawer faces etc. of very wide, matched boards, completely different from even the highest grades of factory-built furniture. The logs we buy are also far above North American “grading rules”. In fact, our log buyer competes with veneer log buyers who choose only the crème de la crème of hardwood logs. Do all these considerations make for furniture that is stronger or more durable? Not necessarily; that is up to the skill of the furniture maker as he planes, edge-joints and assembles a piece of furniture. But it certainly produces a more beautiful result, with each Cherrywood board flowing harmoniously into the next. It also allows the finisher to bring out the colour and natural figure of the wood without the need for stains, since the colour is matched perfectly.

The Memory Bench

We’ve delivered a good number of these beautiful benches over the years. Barlow Tyrie carves any inscription you wish in any of their Teak garden benches to create a timeless memorial to a friend or loved one. You may choose any of the benches shown in the link below, let us know how you would like the inscription to read, and we will have it delivered in about 8-10 weeks. We can also install security fittings if required.

http://www.teak.com/english/teak-seating.htm

The Panel Bed

We think it is way overdue to get back in touch with our blog readers! We started this little blog just over a year ago with very good intentions to show you what we’re working on every week or so. Well, the road to online hell is paved with many a good intention. But better late than never, so here we go. Our workshop has been busier than ever during this last year. In fact, we’re feeling a little embarrassed by the paucity of pieces on our showroom floor, but customers work takes priority!

The VERUS Panel Bed has been off the floor for way too long, so we thought a pic might be helpful for now. We finally have one in the works and should have it to show before the end of June. We’re building a little more contemporary version than the pic above – fewer panels, with the top rails covering the tops of the legs and a modfied curve on the top rails. We’re also looking forward to showing this new floor piece with the amazing Cherrywood we’ve been sourcing for just over a year. We now work with the entire Cherry log (or Walnut, Curly Maple or White Oak log) to ensure perfect colour & grain match.  Suffice to say, its like we’ve been a chef shopping at a supermarket for over 20 years, and we’ve just discovered an organic farm that delivers directly to us. More on this later!

(photo note: We had a rather short focal length lens when we shot this pic. So the footboard looks a little larger than it is in reality.)

Teak & Stainless Steel

 

Equinox Extension Table & Equinox Armchairs

Equinox Extension Table & Equinox Armchairs

Today we delivered to one of our customers a Barlow Tyrie Equinox Extension Table to go with a set of chairs we delivered to him several years ago. At that time we had supplied an all-Teak table, because the Equinox Teak & Stainless Steel Table was not in production yet. But once he saw the new Equinox Table he loved it, so we agreed to take his first table into stock. Now the older table goes through our finishing shop and it will come out as a completely new-looking “pre-owned” floor model. Good for him, since he has what he wants. Good for Form & Function, because we can show a 3 year old table on our floor. The combination of our special Teak clear finish and the soft, brushed stainless steel is striking, and this table will easily repel any manner of food or wine stains for years. More about our finishing process coming up next!

Sunscreen With Elegance

 

Milano Parasol & Ascot Recliners

Milano Parasol & Ascot Recliners

   Finally, it feels like summer has arrived! At least here on the Wet Coast. So, now that we’ve been sun-deprived for months, we’re now supposed to be fearful of too much sun exposure because of skin cancer? But didn’t we just read that northerners are often Vitamin D deficient, and that sun is necessary for synthesis of Vitamin D through the skin? But wait, what about that report in 2007 from the Environmental Working Group in the U.S. that showed that 84% of sunscreen preparations provided inadequate protection against UV radiation? Take a deep breath. We didn’t last this long on earth by hiding from the sun. How about a little moderation? I’ll take my sun neat. No added octyl methoxycinnamate for me. But I’ll take a wide-brimmed hat and a beautiful, big parasol for sun without the sin. Simplicity can be so elegant.

The Colours of Summer

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All 0f our Barlow Tyrie seat and lounger cushions at Form & Function are now available in not just 4 or 5 stock colours, but made to order in all 200+ colours and patterns from the amazingly sun-fast collection  from Glen Raven mills. From retro stripes to sophisticated weaves to bold brights, the colours of summer are here. Please note that all made to order cushions require 4-5 weeks to deliver.

VERUS. Made Right. Right Here in Canada

At FORM & FUNCTION we have long believed that we can build furniture in Canada that is easily the match of furniture from Italy or the USA or any other country with large furniture factories. And that any cost advantage from “economy of scale” is now being countered by the ever increasing costs of fluctuating currencies, ocean freight, import duties and expensive advertising and marketing costs. The only furniture we cannot make at home is our outdoor product line. And that is primarily because the only Teak lumber available to us is Teak from Burma. It is widely thought that most of the profit from the unsustainable logging of Teak in Burma goes to the undemocratically-elected military junta..

And now, more than ever before, we are acutely aware of the “multiplier effect” of a dollar spent in support of community-based businesses, especially those which manufacture their products in their own community. And, that very low price often goes hand in hand with high social cost.

 And so, at FORM & FUNCTION, we feel it is time to introduce our new name for our range of hand-crafted hardwood furniture which we design, build and finish right here in our own Vancouver workshop. We have chosen the name VERUS, from the Latin word for true. This is furniture without falseness. If we say Cherry, we mean solid Cherry lumber, not a face of Cherry with a heart of fibre board. If we say Walnut, we are referring to solid Black Walnut lumber, not Walnut-stained birch or a paper-thin Walnut veneer over MDF.

 Fundamental to our approach with VERUS is a respect for the craft of the maker. We reject the factory model of modern furniture manufacturing, where one person makes doors, another makes shelves, another installs hardware and so on. In the VERUS shop, one person handcrafts each piece, from selection of lumber to final sanding. The pride of craftsmanship in each table, chair and cabinet will speak for generations. The rejection of the multiple-piece factory model also affords us a unique advantage relative to most furniture retailers. We make every piece of furniture for you, based on your unique needs. If your sideboard needs to be precisely 38” high, it will be so. If your dining table must seat 4 people day to day, but expand to seat 10, you shall have it. We think that to not have such options would be like shopping for shoes in a store that has only 3 sizes. And we warrantee that our furniture will never go out of style or wear out! But, if it ever needs “polishing”, we’ll take care of it.

 There is much more to tell you about our VERUS furniture, like our non-toxic wood finishes, remarkable flitch-sawn wide lumber, and professional interior design service. We invite your inquiries, whether you need a small table or a long term, whole house plan. In a few weeks we hope to start posting images of a good number of VERUS pieces, so please check back soon.

 

 

Caring For Teak Oudoor Furniture

Grey-Bench

 

 At Form & Function back in the early 90’s, when we first starting importing Barlow Tyrie Teak garden furniture, we were told that the classic approach to maintenance was best. Simply give the furniture a light scrub down with soap and water once or twice a year, and leave it exposed to the elements, summer and winter.  This is still sound advice. There are many benches in public parks around England that have proven this to be true for over 60 years. But at Form & Function, we had been building our own range of indoor furniture, and we had a very well-run finishing department, with two very experienced finishers. And we knew that Teak finished with a clear varnish, looked fabulous. The problem was that finishes and finishing techniques for outdoor furniture proved to be very different than those used for indoor furniture. And, as we soon discovered, the vast majority of oils and varnishes formulated  by both large and small manufacturers, were so diluted with cheap, petroleum-based solvents that they were an utterly useless  waste of time and resources, regardless of their “marine” pedigrees. This became an intriguing passion for our finishing shop. How to offer an alternative for those of our customers for whom the natural silver-grey of weathered Teak was not suitable.

After 13 years of formulating, reformulating, testing, retesting, consulting coatings chemists and so on, we believe we have finally arrived at a satisfactory solution. It is a combiination of very unique (and very expensive) raw materials, applied in many coats, following an exact timetable of cure time between coats. Does it last forever? No, and neither does your house paint. But it holds the beautiful, rich colour of natural Teak longer than any of the 25+ materials we have tested over the years. The key is that only a maintenance coat is required every 1 to 4 years, depending on a number of factors. There is no stripping and sanding down to raw wood if this quick and easy schedule is followed. At Form & Function we offer this service exclusively to our Barlow Tyrie customers. We will also supply the materials and application method to those who enjoy such endeavours. Its really very easy to do; it just takes time and patience.

And for those of our Barlow Tyrie customers who love the soft, silver patina of  sun-weathered Teak, we’ll show you how to keep it looking smooth and clean, with very little effort. We regret that we are unable to offer our finishing materials or detailed instructions to those who have purchased their outdoor furniture elewhere. We respectfully submit that that would be rather like feeding the hand that bites us.