Free Range Designs Blog

  • Magical Faerie Chairs

    Faerie and Pixie Chairs

    Through the magical powers of storytelling, dreams are brought to life.

    Giants, pixies and faeries come alive and carry you off into fantastical worlds, where anything and everything is possible.

    What better way to celebrate the tradition of reading and telling stories than a magical faerie storytelling chair?

    See our full range of faerie storytelling chairs here.

     

    Definition: A fairy (also fay, fae, fair folk; from faery, faerie, "realm of the fays") is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural.

    Fairy comes from the Old French word faerie.

    Today, when we think of fairies, we often visualise them as tiny, supernatural beings with wings and glowing with uncommon light in today's children fairy tales. They also possess some sorts of strange magical powers, like Tinkerbell in the story of Peter Pan or the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.

    The fairies are supernatural beings that can be best described by the Greek word - daimon, which means "spirit" and they have been around a long time. Perhaps the earliest form of faeries can be found loosely in the mythical beings in Greek mythology, such as the nymphs, satyrs and sileni. The nymphs from ancient Greek myths can be considered as fairies and they existed as early as the time of Homer writing the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even the river gods in Greek myths can be classified as fairies. These are spirits or minor deities of nature or of the natural phenomena.

    And then, there are household or guardian spirits that can be found in Roman religion and mythology, such as the penates, lares and genii.

    The Norse versions of the fairies are the wide variety of elves and the dísir that exist in the Teutonic traditions. The Valkyries could also be classified as fairies.

    It was during the time of Queen Elizabeth I of England, where William Shakespeare (1564-1616) had popularised fairies in English folklore, in his play Midsummer Night's Dream, with the characters Oberon, Titania and Puck. Earlier than Shakespeare, Chaucer (1342-1400) mentioned that the land of Britain was filled with fairies before the time of King Arthur.

    In the Arthurian legends, the divine or fairy figures also appeared in abundance. Morgan, Arthur's half-sister, seen to be great sorceress and healer, was often called Morgan le Fay; her nickname Fay, which means "Fairy". And then there is this Lady of the Lake. Arthur's wife, Guinevere, or Gwenhwyfar in the Welsh tradition, also appeared to be a fairy, as well as the sovereignty goddess.

  • Woodland Four Poster Bed

    Woodland Tree Bed

    A Rustic Oak Tree Bed in a rustic woodland scene!

    The Rustic Oak Four Poster Tree Bed has been a popular choice in 2016, and one couple from Germany decided to come over to Wales on holiday to do a furniture making course and build their very own tree bed to take back home with them.

    Gudrun and Christian have an obvious love of trees and woodlands and have painted a backdrop in their bedroom that goes perfectly with their new bed!

    "Dear Suzanne and Paul,

    We thought it’s really about time to show you where the Oak fourposter bed that Ben built with us found its place.

    As you can see it combines perfectly with the wall painting. However Gudrun is not fully satisfied and plans to continue the treetops on the ceiling... :-)

    We enjoyed it a lot to work with Ben and to see the furniture develop under our own hands.  Actually the whole team was very nice - greetings to all and our best wishes!" Gudrun and Christian

    You can come and make any piece of furniture you see on the website on one of our bespoke 1-1 courses. Please contact us for more details.

     

  • Winter is here . . . Welcome the Snow Bed!

    chunky snow bed

    "Hi Suzanne. The bed arriving was an absolute highlight for us. I can’t tell you how pleased we are with it and how good it looks. It’s better than we could ever have hoped for. We can't thank you and Paul enough for this. It's the perfect belated wedding gift-and it's so comfortable too!" Sarah in Nottingham, Winter 2016

    Sarah and her husband were married in the Arctic, among the snowy peaks, reindeer and polar bears. They wanted a bed that would reflect the beauty of the polar region, be a lasting memory of their special day and be truly unique to them.

    The Snow Bed was hand crafted in our workshop in Wales using all locally and sustainably sourced timbers and driftwood, built with love and delivered just in time to cosy up in during the chilly weather!

    We love building bespoke, so please contact us with your dream bed ideas.

    Click here to see the full range of our handmade wooden beds.

  • Compost Toilet Facilites for Church

    Disabled Access Compost Toilet

    One of our Disabled Access Compost Toilets was recently opened with a blessing by the Rev Steve Rothwell at the ancient church in Hatley St George.

    The listed Grade 2* church, that has no mains water and previously had no toilet facilities, approached us to provide much needed facilities for the growing number of people taking part in activities at the church.

    Rev Rothwell said: “The addition of this toilet is a valuable asset to Hatley St George church and the future needs of the building, and will enable this church to be used for more events and longer worship-based meetings such as quiet and study days, reflective services and much more.”

    Cambridge priest-poet Malcolm Guite wrote a special poem, Hatley St George, published in his book The Singing Bowl, which considers the contemplative and peaceful nature of the building - a copy of the poem hangs in the church.

    Read the full article here.

    See the full range of our compost toilets for sale here.

  • Vicky's Memorial Chair

    memorial chairs

    Dear Free Range Designs

    I felt I had to write to tell you how blown away we were with "Vicky's Storytelling Chair". It is superb! I could spill out a list of superlatives but that wouldn't be enough. We are thrilled with the design, the tiny details, it's fantastical appearance and the sheer fun of the chair. The area will take a few years to embed as trees have only just been planted, with surrounding hedges being planted in the spring, but "The Chair" is at the heart of the outside story area.

    Kind regards

    Christina

    Have a look at more of our outside storytelling chairs here. 

  • Storytelling Chairs for Schools

    once-upon-a-timeWe have been making handmade storytelling chairs for over 10 years now. Each chair is unique, each piece of wood is collected by hand, crafted by hand and delivered as a stunning pieces of art. Over the years we must have made over 100 story chairs with new variations each time a customer asks. All of the materials we use are environmentally friendly, either salvaged from the beach or sourced from sustainably managed local woodlands and saw mills. We make both large and small  chairs for kids, adults and giants. Any size is possible!

    Here some of the examples of our  storytelling chairs that we have crafted over the years:

  • Oak Woodland Bench

    Our latest lovely bench in its new home...

    "Hi, The bench I ordered is here and absolutely stunning . Thank you all. Janet smith"

    Check out more of our handmade benches here.

    Oak Woodland Bench Recycled Woodland Bench
  • New Owl Reading Chair

    owl-reading-chairA big welcome to the newest member in our family of storytelling chairs: The Owl Reading Chair. Inspired by children's story books, this chair features a wise old owl perched upon a book, in amongst the branches of a beautiful old oak tree.

    Check out our Owl Reading Chair here.

    Owls are thought to be one of the oldest species of vertebrate animal in existence, with fossils found dating back 60 million years.  Throughout the history of mankind, the owl has featured significantly in mythology and folklore, from prehistoric cave paintings to recent times.

    In ancient Greece, owls were often seen as a symbol of good fortune, associated with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athene.  In Welsh mythology, Blodeuwedd, the Goddess of Betrayal, is turned into a white owl. And in the modern day, many children learn to read English with the popular Oxford Owl Reading series. Continue reading

  • Compost Toilet for Obonjan Festival Island

    glamping compost looWe are super thrilled to have received these photos of our compost toilet from the festival island of Obonjan.

    When we were approached to build compost toilets for the festival, we decided that it would be better for the organisers to buy our plans on how to build your own compost toilet and get there skilled carpenters to knock out a toilet.

    Well the result are truly amazing! Check out these super dooper posh compost loos. Here is the testimonial from the organisers. Continue reading

  • Icarus chair out of the ashes

    Just out the workshop is this lovely oak chair made in memory of a member of staff who passed away last year. We take pride in all the furniture that we make but when it comes to making memorial furniture we add a little bit of extra love and polish.  Here are more of the memorial chairs  and benches in our storytelling section.

    "Out of the ashes beauty will rise and we will dance among the ruins. We will see it with our own eyes out of these ashes beauty will rise. For we know joy is coming In the morning"

    oak-godess-chair

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