UK

Master woodcrafter and sculptor Tim Stead’s home is saved for the nation after 11th-hour campaign

The stunning home of master woodcrafter and sculptor Tim Stead has been saved for the nation – after an 11th-hour fundraising campaign helped raise £450,000.

The Tim Stead Trust had almost given up hope of raising the cash needed to buy the late artist’s home, which is furnished in sculpted wood made by Stead himself and widely regarded as his most important work.

Furniture maker Stead died in 2002 at the age of 48 and his widow Maggy Stead, 71, now owns the house in Blainslie, Scottish Borders.

Prince Charles once paid tribute to Stead, describing him as a ‘true and gifted artist’ and expressing hope that, once open to the public, the artist’s home will ‘act as a source of great inspiration to those who visit’.

The Steading was due to go on the open market, but the trust has revealed the target has now been hit to buy the house from Maggy.

The dining area in The Steading, which is furnished in sculpted wood made by Stead himself and widely regarded as his most important work. The Tim Stead Trust had almost given up hope of raising the cash needed to buy the late artist’s home

One of the bedrooms in The Steading, with a four-poster bed and chairs made from sculpted wood. The home was due to go on the open market, but the trust has revealed the target has now been hit to buy the house from Maggy

One of the bedrooms in The Steading, with a four-poster bed and chairs made from sculpted wood. The home was due to go on the open market, but the trust has revealed the target has now been hit to buy the house from Maggy

The conservatory inside the home in Blainslie, Scotland, with wooden beaming, doors, walls, benches and a table. Stead was a keen environmentalist, raising funds to create the UK's first community woodland in the Scottish Borders

The conservatory inside the home in Blainslie, Scotland, with wooden beaming, doors, walls, benches and a table. Stead was a keen environmentalist, raising funds to create the UK’s first community woodland in the Scottish Borders

The Steading in Blainslie, Scottish Borders, which was home to master woodcrafter Tim Stead, who died in 2002 at the age of 48. The home has been saved after an 11th-hour fundraising campaign helped raise £450,000

The Steading in Blainslie, Scottish Borders, which was home to master woodcrafter Tim Stead, who died in 2002 at the age of 48. The home has been saved after an 11th-hour fundraising campaign helped raise £450,000

Prince Charles once paid tribute to Stead (pictured above), describing him as a 'true and gifted artist' and expressing hope that, once open to the public, the artist's home will 'act as a source of great inspiration to those who visit'

Prince Charles once paid tribute to Stead (pictured above), describing him as a ‘true and gifted artist’ and expressing hope that, once open to the public, the artist’s home will ‘act as a source of great inspiration to those who visit’

Stead’s work included the Millennium Clock at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the oil industry memorial chapel in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen.

He was also a keen environmentalist, raising funds to create the UK’s first community woodland in the Scottish Borders.

The trust was refused a grant by the National Heritage Memorial Fund in November, but a major benefactor stepped forward and pledged matched funding up to £250,000.

This was swiftly followed by offers of support from a number of private donors.

The target was finally hit with the help of a Crowdfunder campaign, launched last week, which raised more than £23,000 through donations from more than 240 people.

The cash will allow the trust to purchase The Steading and begin ambitious plans to transform into a place where people can see and touch the wonderful craftsmanship.

A wooden spiral staircase and bookshelves inside The Steading. Nichola Fletcher, chair of the trust, said: 'We are overwhelmed by the speed of this response, and with the enthusiasm that our project has sparked'

A wooden spiral staircase and bookshelves inside The Steading. Nichola Fletcher, chair of the trust, said: ‘We are overwhelmed by the speed of this response, and with the enthusiasm that our project has sparked’

Stead, pictured above, was born the youngest of four brothers in Helsby, Cheshire. He attended The Leys School in Cambridge and achieved first-class honours in fine art at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham

Stead, pictured above, was born the youngest of four brothers in Helsby, Cheshire. He attended The Leys School in Cambridge and achieved first-class honours in fine art at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham

Stead's work included the Millennium Clock at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the oil industry memorial chapel (pictured above) in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen, Scotland

Stead’s work included the Millennium Clock at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the oil industry memorial chapel (pictured above) in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen, Scotland

Chairs sculpted by Stead for Cafe Gandolfi in Glasgow in 1979. His son Sam, a trustee, said: 'The amazing support from friends and fans of my father's work has been truly heartwarming'

Chairs sculpted by Stead for Cafe Gandolfi in Glasgow in 1979. His son Sam, a trustee, said: ‘The amazing support from friends and fans of my father’s work has been truly heartwarming’

Maggy said: ‘It is a huge relief to me to know that my Tim’s work will now be preserved and used in such a creative way.

‘He would have loved that.’

Son Sam, a trustee, said: ‘It is fantastic that we have managed to get to the point where The Steading can be bought by the trust and start working on opening it up for the public.

‘The amazing support from friends and fans of my father’s work has been truly heartwarming.’

Nichola Fletcher, chair of the trust, said: ‘We are overwhelmed by the speed of this response, and with the enthusiasm that our project has sparked.

‘We are so grateful to our supporters, who have given so generously. The past two months has turned me into a fund-raising junkie so I’m not stopping now.

Stead pictured with his artwork 'Axes for Trees' in Blainslie, Scottish Borders, in 1986. Stead studied as a postgraduate at the School of Art in Glasgow, where he met his future wife Maggy, a student from Luxembourg

Stead pictured with his artwork ‘Axes for Trees’ in Blainslie, Scottish Borders, in 1986. Stead studied as a postgraduate at the School of Art in Glasgow, where he met his future wife Maggy, a student from Luxembourg

Stead's work pictured at St Nicholas Kirk Aberdeen. The furniture was commissioned in 1989. According to the Trust, the 'initial letters of the woods used in the chair backs spell out the simple but poignant “We remember yew”'

Stead’s work pictured at St Nicholas Kirk Aberdeen. The furniture was commissioned in 1989. According to the Trust, the ‘initial letters of the woods used in the chair backs spell out the simple but poignant “We remember yew”’

Peter Reeve and Stead pictured playing chess in 1975, using a chess table, chairs and pieces made by the sculptor himself. The work was started at Trent Polytechnic and finished at Glasgow School of Art

Peter Reeve and Stead pictured playing chess in 1975, using a chess table, chairs and pieces made by the sculptor himself. The work was started at Trent Polytechnic and finished at Glasgow School of Art 

The chess table, chairs and pieces created by Stead in 1975. The sculptor was a very keen chess player and made several distinctive chess sets during his lifetime

The chess table, chairs and pieces created by Stead in 1975. The sculptor was a very keen chess player and made several distinctive chess sets during his lifetime

‘We have urgent restoration work to do and, of course, we have ambitious plans for The Steading.

‘So now the real work begins, of fundraising for Phase 2 of the project, which will allow us to realise our dream of developing The Steading into a major centre for creativity and education.’  

Prince Charles previously said: ‘Tim Stead created a place of extraordinary artistic interest at ‘The Steading’. He was a remarkable woodcraftsman; a true and gifted artist who created wonderful furniture and sculptures.

‘He had a unique understanding of the sustainable management of woodlands and the use of indigenous hardwoods and he did so much to encourage local sourcing and to educate people about wood and woodcraftsmanship. 

‘I have long admired this beautifully crafted woodwork and I can only commend the Tim Stead Trust for seeking to preserve it for public access.

‘I hope that, once open, ‘The Steading’ acts as a source of great inspiration to those who visit.’ 

Tim Stead: The ‘natural anarchist’ who sculpted a chair for the Pope and helped create UK’s first community woodland

Tim Stead was a ‘natural anarchist’ and ‘committed himself to native timbers, specialising in elm so heavily burred that other furniture makers rejected it’, according to the Tim Stead Trust. 

His major works include the Millennium Clock at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the oil industry memorial chapel in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen.

He also founded the Borders Community Woodlands – the UK’s first community woodlands – and was awarded an MBE in the New Year honours for his work on the millennium forest of Scotland Tim.

The sculptor even made a chair for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Murrayfield in 1981. 

A chair (pictured left) sculpted by Stead for the visit of Pope John Paul II (right) in Edinburgh in 1981. According to the trust, Stead 'committed himself to native timbers, specialising in elm so heavily burred that other furniture makers rejected it'

A chair (pictured left) sculpted by Stead for the visit of Pope John Paul II (right) in Edinburgh in 1981. According to the trust, Stead ‘committed himself to native timbers, specialising in elm so heavily burred that other furniture makers rejected it’

Stead was born the youngest of four brothers in Helsby, Cheshire, and attended The Leys School in Cambridge where he was said to be ‘rebellious’.

He achieved first-class honours in fine art at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham before studying as a postgraduate at the School of Art in Glasgow, where he met his future wife Maggy, a student from Luxembourg.

During his time at Trent Polytechnic in 1975, Stead began sculpting a chess table, chairs and pieces, which he later finished at Glasgow School of Art.

He was a keen chess player and, during his lifetime, made several distinctive chess sets.  

Stead sidestepped from any substantial work due to illness after his Botanic Ash exhibition in Edinburgh in 1933, and instead played a major role in founding the Woodschool in Monteviot. 

Source: The Tim Stead Trust 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button