Stead’s influence still strong in new business

David Lightly and Ross Purves of The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.
David Lightly and Ross Purves of The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.
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A new business has grown out of wood artist Tim Stead’s former workshop at Blainslie, after several years of preparation.

David Lightly and Ross Purves launched The Wood Neuk in September, specialising in the design and making of high quality bespoke furniture.

Ross Purves of The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.

Ross Purves of The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.

“It’s a labour of love for us both,” said Ross. “Between us we have 38 years of experience in furniture design.

“David worked with the late Tim Stead, the renowned sculptor and wood artist, and we have each been influenced by his work.

“After Tim’s death, his partner Maggy took over the business, but when she made the decision to retire, we purchased the existing equipment and are currently leasing the premises.

“You could say The Wood Neuk has grown out of that, and while Tim’s influences remain, we continue to develop new designs.”

The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.

The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.

The pair have obtained full licence from Maggy Stead to produce Tim’s designs for sale, in addition to creating their own pieces.

Both Ross and David are active within the Community Woodlands Association, so only use wood which has served its purpose, either the tree has blown down or been felled for a good reason.

As far as possible they also use native hardwoods sourced from across the Borders.

Ross said: “The change-over from this being The Workshop of Tim Stead to The Wood Neuk is very recent, but we’ve been preparing for a couple of years as we needed to build a ready stock of wood.

Ross Purves (sitting) and David Lightly of The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.

Ross Purves (sitting) and David Lightly of The Wood Neuk in Blainslie near Lauder.

“The moisture content in a recently felled tree is too high for interior furniture, so once the wood is cut it can take roughly two years to dry out after which it is dry-heated in our kiln for six weeks.”

David added: “We take pride in being involved in each stage of the process and knowing that the greatest of care has been taken.”

A week-long exhibition of designs is being planned for next summer, and the pair are also keen to exhibit their work at events such as Grand Designs Live and the Royal Highland Show.