Gillian Porter, Upholstery Apprentice

Gillian has recently moved into upholstery as a more practical career option after many years of working in market and academic research and running a psychology journal. She had experimented with DIY upholstery projects from a book, but started regular classes at Badger Upholstery to learn how to do it properly. This has led to her joining Hamilton and Hodson as an apprentice in 2021.

Gillian says:

Upholstery combines loads of my favourite things. Stripping back a chair is like archaeology; peeling back the layers of history and uncovering the craftsmanship of a fellow upholsterer from decades ago. Building it back up is like creative DIY without power tools, carefully building up layers by hand using age-old methods. Finishing it off involves design and dressmaking skills with real attention to detail – and it’s all recycling and saving things from landfill. I’m amazed how a crude-looking frame can be transformed into a high-end piece of furniture, with years of new life, using just fabrics, stuffing and elbow grease! Working here is brilliant hands-on experience and I’m learning loads from Nicky and Erica.”