The contemporary chairs you see here by British designer Max Lamb are each made from a single piece of cedar, measuring six by eight inches in cross-section.

He cut the beams on a band saw and put them together again, like a puzzle. Not a bit of the wood was wasted.

Lamb’s pieces are ingenious experiments with the building blocks of design. At the same time, they respond playfully to the woodcarvings here in the State Drawing Room: lime wood trophies by Samuel Watson, and two coronation thrones by Catherine Naish, one of few female master carvers known from the eighteenth century.

Lamb offers ‘a polite nod of respect’ to these precursors. Instead of skilful ornamentation, though, he emphasises the potential contained in every piece of wood. 

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