Meet the Teach Team...
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Here at Bristol Upholstery Collective we encourage an enthusiastic culture of skilled, professional upholsterers who are passionate about their craft. Who are continuously developing new techniques and sharing their knowledge.

The Bristol Upholstery Collective Teach Team is made up of talented and highly trained Association of Master Upholsterers Diploma Students. Most of whom have begun their own independent upholstery businesses, and thrive in collaboration with their clients.

Not only do they share their expert skills and knowledge, but our company cultural values too.

The BUC Teach Team run the Bristol Upholstery Collective leisure classes during evenings and weekends. This makes our leisure classes exciting, productive and enjoyable experiences. 

 

Whether you are a complete beginner or more experienced, our Teach Team can help you achieve your upholstery dreams.

Introducing the BUC Teach Team

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Lucy

What excites me most about upholstery?

Having the opportunity to create something new and unique. The curves and the straight lines!! The endless creative possibilities. Breathing life back into something that has lost its sparkle (and shape!). Seeing the layers of history hidden underneath antique chairs. Discovering the same traditional upholstery techniques and methods that have been used for hundreds of years that I am now able to recreate. Prolonging the life of furniture rather than letting it become part of the dreaded landfill. 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

When you think there is enough stuffing - there probably isn’t…..Keep stuffing!! 

 

Document the process well when stripping down the layers. It will help you endlessly when reupholstering! 

 

Practice, practise and then practice a bit more.

 

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

To be immersed in a creative, colourful, supportive, collaborative world of exciting possibilities and opportunities. Don’t hesitate - Just do it! 

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Anna

What excites me most about upholstery?

     How you can take a limited range of materials and create a variety of                  shapes and profiles depending on how you use them and what you do              with them. I am also passionate about reducing waste so                                      reupholstering instead of buying new is a great way of both                                 extending the life of a piece and reducing consumption.

 

               What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

              Take it slowly, be kind to yourself and don't be afraid to undo and                      start again if you are not achieving the shape you want.

 

             What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

           At various points sore hands, sore back, tired eyes and a tired brain.               But also the fun and satisfaction of delving into the history of a piece            and then becoming part of its history as you build it back up to give it            more years of life and use.

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What excites me most about upholstery?

Seeing the potential in a chair, looking past its tired exterior and what fabulousness it can become really excites me. For this, I try to think what the chairs' new home will look like, who will take her in and where she will take pride of place, giving her a story on her future. And as I love things to be different and stand out from the crowd, I am trying to work with fabrics and designs that are out of the norm. Life is too short for boring furniture.

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

In homage to Armand, I now only use the French way to work with coir. Instead of rolling multiple balls, I roll strips of coir around the bridle ties. Being pre-teased, I feel it gives the chair a better look.

 

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

If you are joining for leisure or wanting to take the leap into the full Diploma, expect to become obsessed! From fabric styles and patters, to looking at late-night chair-porn on Instagram and Pinterest, it will be all you think about. Even when shopping for furniture, you will start looking at how well it has been put together – DFS, look out!

Heleana
Bey
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What excites me most about upholstery?

  Giving new life to an old chair that might have been forgotten. I have been         designing fabrics in collaboration with my partner for my upholstery                     projects, I love the fusion of traditional skills using natural materials                     with a contemporary artistic expression.  

            I also enjoy the thoughtful side of upholstery and how the decisions                  that I make in every step of the process can totally transform a chair.                There are different challenges in each process but through practice                   and hard work, every chair can eventually become a beautiful piece                 of art.

 

                What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

              For me, a regulator is one of the most useful tools in upholstery,                       whether regulating stuffing or making a nice clean fold on fabric and            even undoing a knot that I made by mistake!

         Regulating hair/coir may seem like a long repetitive process but it’s              definitely worthwhile, the more you do the more you will appreciate the        effort.

 

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

To have lots of fun, grow your arm & hand strength, train your patience and be creative!

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What excites me most about upholstery?

 The emotional roller coaster of every new upholstery project! You start with optimism, then bafflement (sometimes despair) then gradual realisation and eventually joyful fulfilment. And then bizarrely you do it all over again on the next chair project.

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

 I don’t attempt anything that involves maths after 4.30pm!

  

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

 Growing addiction to hoarding chairs! Beware the following symptoms – looking for empty corners around your house where you can ‘store’ yet another chair and then sneaking another one in when no one is looking.  

Ali
Beka
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     What excites me most about upholstery?

       I love the process of upholstery, the practical nature of it where I can get           stuck into making something. Doing a bit of problem solving for tricky              bits can also be a lot of fun.

 

            What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

            Keep an eye on things as you go! Solve problems before they're                      problems.

 

        What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

      They're are so many different ways to approach a chair and each new             project will probably teach you something new

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What excites me most about upholstery?

I find the whole upholstery process very therapeutic. The initial stripping of a chair is often fascinating- peeling back the layers of previous craftsmen's work to reveal old techniques and the solutions to problems they encountered. Then the rebuild begins. Ensuring the structure is sound and watching its shape develop. The top fabric and trimmings finish the process but it’s what lies beneath that interests me the most.

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

Always ensure your preparation for the chair frame is robust - it will pay in the long term.

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

In the future you will find yourself automatically looking for straight seams, neat corners and pattern matches on all types of furniture.  Once you start upholstery, you’ll always be on the lookout for new ideas and solutions.

Kim
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What excites me most about upholstery?

   EVERYTHING! I love how varied the work is and how every stage of            building a chair is different

 

      What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

I      like things to be neat so I often make templates to make sure                      measurements are accurate. Using hands and fingers is another great       way to measure

 

   What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

   Never to be bored again!!

Jacqui

What excites me most about upholstery?

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

 

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

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What excites me most about upholstery?

Every project is different.  There are always surprises and you always have an excellent excuse to spend hours poring over beautiful upholstery fabrics

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

Try to think one step ahead; always have a plan because you are making preparations for the next layer.

 

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

Expect to be on a huge learning curve and to be pushed to your crafty limits. You will be challenged, probably frustrated at times but most of all it will leave you totally fulfilled and hungry for more. You will also meet your new upholstery family who are the most supportive, talented bunch and they love stopping for cake!

Grace
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Ant

What excites me most about upholstery?

The thing I love about upholstery is that you can take something old and transform it into something new and personal too! Not only is this a great way to customise something unique to you, it is also a more sustainable way to help the planet a little bit and prolong an items life by saving it from landfill. The old stuff is built way stronger than any of the modern stuff that is produced today.

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

Has to be measure twice, cut once. I have too many fears of cutting an expensive fabric too short!

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

An exciting journey into upholstery including tips and tricks and the history of chairs! There is a lot of information out there which will require a certain amount of self-research which can be overwhelming, but upholsterers are a friendly and supportive bunch and you will meet some great people along the way. Also, there is no greater feeling of satisfaction and pride when all you finish an item you have been working on and somebody cherishes and loves that piece.

At today’s Open Day we saw talks on the _the_amusf Diploma, Leisure Courses and _monfornot

What excites me most about upholstery?

The seemingly limitless possibilities. I've attended classes where everyone essentially starts with the same bare frame, but the finished chairs are all completely unique. From big, bold colours to simple pared-back elegance, each one reflecting the individual character and imagination of the maker, and each one wonderful! I love being part of that creative process. 

 

What’s my favourite upholstery tip/trick?

Be brave! From fabric choice to making a scary first cut. Seek advice from your classmates and tutors, but don't hold back! 

 

What can a newbie upholsterer expect?

Prepare to be inspired and to create something you may not have thought you had the skills to do. With the right guidance, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve. 

Emma