It’s sofa, so good for Warningcamp garden designer and craftsman Simon Groves, who has added amazing novelty furniture for the garden to his impressive range of carved animals.
At the recent launch event for the Arundel Festival in August, at which Simon will again be taking part in the Gallery Trail, all eyes were irresistibly drawn to the incredible two-seater sofa he has created from a massive block of oak.
This is innovative, practical art at its best – the detail in Simon’s work is stunning and you can see every fold in the sofa’s wooden ‘cushions’. It is almost impossible to believe it has been made with a chainsaw.
Simon, who works with his father’s landscape gardening business, has already found a ready market for the magnificent bears, owls and other creatures he has been making for the past couple of years, combining his artistic flair with his skill with a chainsaw to create works of art for the garden.
He started making the carved furniture at the beginning of this year, after being commissioned to make two sofas for an ‘outside room’ at a house in Ferring by someone who had seen his work on display at Sparks Yard in Arundel during last year’s Gallery Trail.
“Those sofas weighed about a ton-and-a-half each and it took me about three days to make each one,” said Simon. “It’s quite difficult to get blocks of oak that size, so as well as hoping to do more of the sofas, I’m moving on to other styles such as single chairs. Because they’re made of solid oak, they will last for 40 or 50 years.
“It was quite a challenge to make the first sofa as I’d never done anything like that before, and because a piece of wood that size is so expensive, you have to get it right first time. You can’t afford to make a mistake, but it went well right from the start and everyone was pleased with the result.”
Although he is now focusing on the artistic garden furniture, Simon will be continuing to make the bears, other animals, mushrooms and totem poles for which he has become well-known locally. His work can be seen at his studio in Warningcamp and he can be contacted on 01903 883972 or 07917 299496.