In 2014, Bruce Hamilton Furniture Makers relocated to the current workshop in Anniesland, in the West End of Glasgow. He continues to undertake work for private clients, with numerous commissions both at home and abroad.
In 2018, the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth, Bruce supplied a selection of hand-made Mackintosh chairs for the shop at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. The chairs were available for purchase during the Mackintosh exhibition, ‘Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style’. Later that year, Bruce had the honour of being asked to create furniture for one of C.R. Mackintosh’s most exquisite buildings, ‘Mackintosh at the Willow’. The commission involved several visits to the Glasgow School of Art, to survey and measure an original chair in the collection. Bruce crafted over thirty chairs, all of which were required to be of the highest standard, and pass scrutiny by the advisory panel to the board of Mackintosh at the Willow. At the official opening, in recognition of his work, and on behalf of the many craft workers and tradespeople involved in the restoration of Mackintosh at the Willow, Bruce was privileged to be formally presented to HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.
This watercolour painting by Robert Barbour is a favourite possession. Bruce commissioned the painting long after his father’s yard was demolished. Robert produced the painting from a handful of photographs Bruce gave him, showing him as a young boy playing and watching the daily goings-on in the timber yard.
Bruce started work as an apprentice with James E. Robertson & Sons in 1979. He worked in the workshop and on site fitting out pubs, clubs and hotels.
ESTABLISHED HIS OWN BUSINESS
Working out of his father’s double garage, the business was set up to produce Charles Rennie Mackintosh reproductions and bespoke one-off pieces designed to exacting specifications, often with frequent client input.
UNIVERSITY OF PAISLEY
Now known as The Unversity of West of Scotland, this was where Bruce created his first major ecumenical commission – The Chancellor’s Chair.
Production moved to his first ‘real’ work shop in Johnstone, taking over an old joiner’s shop.
HOUSE FOR AN ART LOVER
Received a commission to produce the dining room furniture for The House For an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park.
One of six furniture maker/designers asked to produce a design for a communion table for the Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh. The table was the congregation’s acknowledgement of the year 2000. Bruce was successful with his entry and was awarded the commission.
Adding to the historic interior, Bruce was commissioned to make two rows of portable choir stalls for Paisley Abbey. A further commission followed to make choirbook rests for the rear back stalls.
GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART
Bruce was commissioned to make six Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed chairs for the Director’s Room at the Glasgow School of Art. He was very proud to receive this commission, as it was the first time that the Art School have replaced original Mackintosh pieces with reproductions.
SUMMER EXHIBITION (SOUTH OF FRANCE)
The Glasgow School of Art invited Bruce to provide examples of his Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture as part of a summer exhibition of his work, in Port Vendres in the South of France.
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL, EAST KILBRIDE
For this client, Bruce was asked to undertake his largest commission to date. The pews were made to a specific design: the church wanted deeper seats which needed to be flat with no rake. Due to the scale of the work involved, in order to ensure the timely delivery of the commission, Bruce employed the services of a joiner and cabinet-maker for the duration of this project.
CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH DINING SUITE IN CALIFORNIABruce was commissioned by a private client in Santa Barbara, USA to make a ten seat Charles Rennie Mackintosh dining suite.
GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART BOARDROOM CHAIRS
Bruce was asked to create twelve new boardroom chairs for Glasgow School of Art, to replace original pieces that were being donated to a museum.
FURNITURE DELIVERED TO BELGUIM
A private client in Belgium requested a Mackintosh-inspired wardrobe, two barrel chairs and a domino table. Bruce also completed many private commissions in the UK during this year.
CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH IN TEXAS
Bruce created a Mackintosh-designed ‘Willow’ settle and a Hill House Ladder-back chair.
THE MACKINTOSH TRAIL
As part of the ‘Mackintosh Trail’, Bruce supplied six Charles Rennie Mackintosh reproduction pieces for display in Port Vendres, South of France. Additionally he was asked to provide a Mackintosh-design dining suite and a ‘Hunterian’ sideboard to a private client in Washington D.C.
CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH FURNITURE IN ITALY
Bruce completed a Charles Rennie Mackintosh ‘Franklin’ table for a private client in Italy. This year also saw Bruice undertake many commissions for private clients, including to two in London.
BENCHES MADE FOR POSSILPARK HEALTH CENTRE
This was the last commission to be completed by Bruce’s workshop in Linwood. Two benches were designed for the reception areas of the ground and first floors of the new Health Centre at Possilpark, Glasgow. These benches were a joint commission with Chris Turner, a fellow craftsman.
MOVED TO NEW WORKSHOP
After seventeen years based in Linwood, Bruce moved the workshop into Glasgow. This involved a big clear-out and quite a bit of re-organizing. The new workshop was a big improvement, in a great location, and offering quick access to Glasgow, including many of Bruces suppliers.
MACKINTOSH FURNITURE SUPPLIED TO MANY COUNTRIES
Bruce was commissioned to make a ‘Willow ‘ settle and two Blackie desk chairs in Padauk, for a client in Cape Town, South Africa. Bruce also took commissions from clients in Canada, New South Wales (Australia) and a complete Charles Rennie Mackintosh suite for a client in Cambridge, England.
GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART LIBRARY CHAIR
Following the fire in 2014, which destroyed the library and the west of the building, Bruce was asked to provide a reproduction of the Glasgow School of Art library chair as part of the refurbishment. (Sadly, his part in the project was put on hold as the restoration neared completion due to a second catastrophic fire.)
A ROYAL INTRODUCTION
Bruce was selected as one of the craftsmen asekd to provide furniture for the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Willow Tearooms on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. He made more than thirty armchairs for the front and back Salons and for the mezzanine floor. Bruce was honoured to be introduced to HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall at the official opening of Mackintosh at the Willow.
WHITE FURNITURE COMMISSION
Recently Bruce was able to recreate Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed white bedroom furniture for a client in south west of Scotland.
Bruce was asked to strip out an old banister from a three-storey mid-terraced townhouse in the West End of Glasgow, and to replace it with a custom-made banister. To do so, he produced all-new moulding and panels in-house, and hand finished them with oil.