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“Absolutely superb craftsmanship, wonderfully exhibited” [Anon.]

18th-27th August 2018

Estuary Islands Cabinet, by Kevin Stamper Furniture

Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design


18th - 27th August 2018


Estuary Islands Cabinet, by Kevin Stamper Furniture

– Holiday Watercolour to Handmade Wonder

We love the striking simplicity of Kevin Stampers Estuary Islands Cabinet; from inspiration on holiday, pixalating the image to the final creation of the piece a true journey of creation has clearly been undertaken.  We spoke with Kevin to gain a little further insight into his piece and to enable us to share a few images of the process with you. 

How would you describe the piece?

“Elegant, colourful, original, contemporary, fresh-clean (fresh-clean is a common Chinese term, it’s shorthand for contemporary and desirable).”

What was your inspiration for the piece? 

“The initial inspiration came from a weekend away at The Master Builders Hotel, Bucklers Hard on the Beaulieu River in the New Forest.  It was a gloriously sunny weekend and I sat in the hotel garden and painted a watercolour sketch of the estuary.  The colours of the river, the surrounding countryside and the sky were very bright in the clear daylight and lent themselves to a very open type of sketch that could be translated into a pixilated design.  From there it was a simple jump to develop the design into a tall, thin cabinet that allowed me to incorporate the river and the islands leading up to the sun on the horizon.  My aim was to keep the design of the actual cabinet as simple as possible and to use a mitred construction technique that ‘framed’ the doors to make an abstract picture; behind the doors there would be an interesting layout of drawers and shelves so the cabinet could be used for storage or display as required.” 


Above Left - Original Watercolour, Above Right - Original Sketch

What is your favourite thing about the Estuary Island Cabinet? 

“I like the simple elegance of the tall, thin shape and the vividness of the blue and green colours on the doors that contrast with the bleached white of the sycamore on the cabinet carcass and stand.” 

Were there any challenges in making this piece, if so how were they overcome?  

“The pattern on the doors is made up of hand dyed squares of sycamore veneer.  Each colour in the pattern needs to have at least 10 tonal graduations from light to dark and the dye must penetrate all the way through the veneer to make the process possible.  Learning how to do this by placing the veneers under pressure and achieving consistent results took about two years of experimentation and trial and error.   Also finding the right finish for the cabinet was very important.  It needed to bring out and enhance the bright colours without any ‘yellowing’ effect on timber, it also had to protect the colours from the fading effect of sunlight.  After some experimentation, the perfect finish proved to be a solvent based polyurethane lacquer that has an ultraviolet filter added to it; The finish is also very smooth to the touch and offers good protection against liquid spills and hot cups!”


Above Left - Pixilation of oringial watercolour



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