Timothy Oulton Boarding School
At Stocktons Manchester quality products and exceptional service go hand in hand. We strive to deliver this to our customers every time, even if it means going back to school to do so!
As many of you may know from visiting our store, Timothy Oulton is one of our favourite brands so when a few of our design consultants were invited to the Timothy Oulton boarding school in china they jumped at the opportunity. We thought we would share with you some of the things they experienced…
The first day!
Two planes and 16 hours later we arrived in a foggy Guangzhou China, ready to tackle 4 days at the Timothy Oulton boarding school. We were welcomed with a ‘golden handshake’; a giant moulding of Tim’s hand attached to the entrance of the Centre of Excellence. A Gyro crystal chandelier hung above the doorway, dwarfing everything around it and reinforcing the fact that Tim does nothing in half measures.
The chuckle of the wacky and wonderfully energetic Jude Leach, Timothy Oulton’s right hand woman, with her army of smiling ambassadors greeted us as we entered the centre. The taste of Champagne, the smell of Santa Maria Novella, Rock n Roll sounds and the sight of lavish red roses made us feel right at home. Timothy Oulton’s key 5 senses working perfectly.
Pens and paper at the ready!
Meeting and greeting over, we all take a seat in a Timothy Oulton Scholar Chair in the classroom. We are introduced to the world of Timothy Oulton, their ambition to build a global luxury brand and their craving to understand what ‘Best On Planet’ truly means. We can all achieve just about anything we set our minds to!
Pens and paper at the ready we are introduced to the Selective, Authentic and Daring room sets, each showcasing a different element of Tim’s personality. Frantically we jotted down everything we heard and saw; there was a rumour spreading around the group that there would be an exam…
Day 2 and 3 of boarding school consisted of workshop tours, where we saw how each product is lovingly handcrafted using time-honoured techniques. Each designer’s extraordinary attention to detail means that every bolt, every stitch and every detail is painstakingly put in its place.
Our first stop was the upholstery workshop where we met the Upholstery Master. He reveals to us the secrets of how he constructs a handmade sofa, such as the new Timothy Oulton Bayswater 3 seater. We touch and feel the quality of the infill materials, discuss spring systems and the difference between serpentine, 8 way hand tied and pocket springs.
We watched on as a Westminster sofa was made by hand in front of our eyes. To witness a craftsmen attaching 1700 brass studs individually and by hand was a sight to see.
Each of us was offered the chance to tuft a button onto a sofa. After the effortless demonstrations we thought this would be a simple task… how wrong we were! Crooked studs and wonky tufts littered the furniture and each failed attempt was met with a snigger from the watching craftsmen.
Watch out for splinters!
We started the third day of boarding school at the reclaimed timber workshop were all of Timothy Oulton’s hand crafted wooden products are created from rescued bits of wood from all over the world.
They talked us through the process of salvaging Genuine English Reclaimed Timber, Genuine Vintage Reclaimed Boat Wood, and Genuine Vintage reclaimed Chinese doors.
Then we met the Reclaimed Wood Master, Eddy Gibson aka EDDIE ‘SALVAGE HANDS’. He talks us through his methodology “we look at each reclamation category, its heritage, provenance and story. Where they have derived from, how we restore the authenticity and character to give it life again.“
He showed us a container thats full of old nails and bolts removed from the reclaimed wood, one Timothy Oulton Axel square mirror had over 400 nails that needed to be pulled out before it can be completed. He explained to us that he was keeping the nails in the hope of finding a use for them some day.
We headed up to the carving room where we saw a man sat at his work station meticulously working away at the top portion of a bookcase. The attention to detail is astounding!
Vintage Inspired Lighting!
Timothy Oulton’s lighting may be the most popular part of his product collection, so it was a privilege to be able to see how lights such as the Timothy oulton Cross glass chandelier, the Timothy Oulton Bernoulli pendant and the Timothy Oulton Odeon chandelier are made.
We took a look at all the authentic materials, K9 glass which is a clearer optical grade glass giving the brightness of crystal without the added weight and the various aged metal patinas. We watched the lighting master and his team delicately apply crystals by hand to products.
Diego The Leather Master!
Final stop of the day is a trip to the leather workshop, Timothy Oulton is famous for creating stunning leather finishes, pushing boundaries and using strange imaginative techniques to make leathers finishes unlike any other brand.
This is where the Leather Master Diego and his team work their magic with their lotions and potions. Diego doesn’t give any of his secrets away, he is a scientist and keeps all of his recipes locked up in his lab where very few people are invited. Unfortunately we didn’t get to set foot in his hideaway.
We were taken through the aniline hand dying and hand finishing process. We looked at the different types of hides used, understanding how to identify them and explaining the individuality and extreme finishes to our customers. Like the new ‘Buk’dN Brok’n’ as used on the Timothy Oulton Saddle chair.
We get the chance to hand dye and distress the leathers ourselves, this gives us a true understanding as to what makes these Timothy Oulton leathers so unique and why they preach “the imperfections are the perfections“
Our Final Day – We are Timothy Oulton Ambassadors!
Waking up on the fourth and final day, our brains spilling over with Timothy Oulton knowledge. We recap over the last 3 days in preparation for our exam.
We were given the great honour of meeting and having a chat with Timothy Oulton himself, a true gent with a big & bold personality. He wants to be the best and WONT stop until he achieves his goal.
Result – 100% pass rate across the group…we celebrated our Timothy Oulton graduation with a bowler hat photoshoot & champagne finale followed by dinner at the famous wooden dome home.
A Truly amazing experience! We are all honoured to have graduated as Timothy Oulton Ambassadors.
For any information on any of the products shown in this blog please don’t hesitate get in touch either call us on: 0161 273 5331 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org