Manea furniture restore hopes to preserve traditional skills

Nick Usher is starting evening courses in furniture restoration after 30 years in the business. ANL-160122-082832009

Nick Usher is starting evening courses in furniture restoration after 30 years in the business. ANL-160122-082832009

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A Manea furniture restorer is hoping to preserve traditional skills by starting up an evening course.

Nick Usher is celebrating his 30th anniversary in the trade and his looking to pass on his experience to others.

He has helped to restore pieces for museums across the country, along with sculpting furniture which was sold at a top auction house.

Mr Usher is hoping to start running a two-hour class from his newly-extended workshop from this month.

He said: “I speak to so many people who restore or upholster furniture but they never pass on the knowledge. These skills are going to be lost in 10 to 15 years time unless we do something.

“I want to teach people the basics. We can do anything from veneering, polishing work along with upholstering.

“And if people want to upcycle we can do that. I would rather people hand paint furniture than throw it away.

“I am also hoping to fill the gap as there isn’t a local course.

“I have been looking for an apprentice but the Cambridge colleges don’t do these sort of courses.”

Mr Usher first became involved with furniture restoration when he was about 12 and helped Les Powell in his store.

He then went on to college before moving on to London.

He has restored pieces for Birmingham Museum but decided to set up his own firm in 2000.

He moved to Manea around eight years ago and runs Usher’s Furniture Restoration from his home in Charlemont Drive.

Mr Usher has also undertaken a MA in furniture conservation. An ebony chaise longue crafted by Mr Usher over 450 hours went under the hammer at Christie’s.

Mr Usher will be running two-hour courses, from 7pm, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, which will cost £12.

Up to eight people can be accommodated during the sessions. For more information call 01354 680833.