Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Book Launch of Richard Fyson, Cabinet Maker, Legacy of a Master Craftsman

As many of you will be aware I have been working on a book about my grandfather's (Richard Fyson) life as a cabinet maker for about 8-10 months. After two very intense final months of work, the book was printed and bound and 55 copies were delivered to my house; the excitement as I opened the first box and held a real copy in my hands was amazing! After working on a project for so long it was great to finally have the finished product; the book looked even better than I had imagined. 

My grandfather made furniture and special pieces for churches, schools, colleges and domestic use. Some of his more well known pieces include two lovers' knot chairs for St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol, a carved dove for St Swithun's Church, Kennington, a carved cow trophy for the British Holstein Society and a spectacular set of bargeboards for the stunning Tudor house, Compton Wynyates. He also undertook a large amount of antique restoration work. His career spanned over four decades of which this book provides a comprehensive overview. 

Last Monday was part of the long Jubilee bank holiday so we picked this day for the book launch. My uncle (who commissioned the project), was over from Australia for a few weeks so this was the perfect opportunity to hold the event. We had a marquee, display of furniture made by my grandpa, pimms, plenty of fabulous food, champagne and cakes galore! Over fifty people turned up; family, friends and two of my grandfather's former apprentices, Carl Mapes and Matthew Burt (Matthew has written a tribute in the book). My Uncle Christopher and close family friend and editor Vicky delivered fantastic speeches, followed by a timely unveiling of the book from under Grandpa's old apron, by my Grandmother, Ella. There was much cheer and applause! Everyone seemed very impressed with the book and we quickly sold over forty copies! I was thrown into sales and book-signing (which is a lot harder after a few pimms!). 

It has been such a privilege to work on this book and to learn all about my grandfather's life and works. It couldn't have been done without my mum, Mandy, my uncle Christopher and Vicky, what a team! 

The book is hardback with a dust jacket, colour, landscape, just under A3 in size and approximately 280 pages. It is full of photos (old and new) of my grandfather's work and lots of supporting text. It includes a CD digital archive with over 600 images of his work. They are selling for £35.00 each, a bargain! Please contact me if you would like a copy. Detailed images of the book are coming soon in another blog post.

I hope you enjoy the photos of the launch day . . . now to sell the rest!

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