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A passion and interest in fine antique furniture led me to pursue a career in the restoration and conservation of antique furniture some twenty years ago.

My first place of study was at West Dean College, Sussex, where I learnt the basic but important skills of fine furniture making.  For example, dove tail jointing, inlaying and veneering as well as fine tuning of all hand tools, skills mastered by all competent furniture makers and antique restorers.  The course was tutored by Bruce Luckhurst who, after realising the seriousness of my interest in furniture, enrolled me into his intensive full time course in cabinet making and restoration and conservation of antique furniture.

Having passed successfully to credit level, I sat the City and Guilds Furniture crafts subjects and furniture advanced studies certificates which included timber preparation, traditional finishing, hand made furniture construction, drawing, the history of antique furniture and industrial studies.

Bruce's course was so intensive that relatively little preparation was required to pass the City and Guilds course to credit and distinction levels.  All my work on this course attained distinction levels with City and Guilds.  On this course I learnt to make a 17th Century style mural cupboard which comprised of frame and panel construction, cocked beading, dove tails, joints, veneering, timber preparation, hand made mouldings, finishing techniques etc.  The second part of the course was where my interest really lay as we studied conservation and restoration of antique furniture.  The furniture making part of the course had put me in extremely good stead as a future antique restorer, so as to understand the mind of the original maker of the piece I would be working on.

This is where I learnt to French polish, veneer and veneer patch, Japan and gild, craft marquetry, splice on new missing sections of timber to blend with original piece of furniture, make cross grain and hand made mouldings, carve and generally restore any item of period English, Continental or Oriental furniture from any wood medium.

This led me to my first professional workshop in Southwark near to the City of London, sharing with two other antique restorers and a furniture maker.  Spending five happy years there, I then found my next premises in Wandsworth, where I spent the next 10 years', ideal for the centre of London and the outskirts.  I have now acquired a west country workshop near Sturminster Newton and I can be seen toing and froing between there and London.

Although much of my work is trade based, most of it is private which is my great pleasure because individuals, as I do, feel passionate and sentimental about their antique furniture for a variety of reasons. 
I can honestly say I enjoy and restore each piece of furniture as sympathetically as possible using traditional techniques.

In conclusion, my motto is - careful investigation, sympathetic restoration and complete customer satisfaction.

Qualifications 

Diploma in Furniture Conservation/Restoration - credit 
(Little Surrenden Workshops) 1990/1991 
"City and Guilds" Advanced Studies & Furniture Craft - credit & distinction - 1991

Ivo Geikie-Cobb at work in his West Country workshop

West Country Workshop:
Acorn house, Semley, Nr Shaftesbury, SP7 9AX
Telephone: 01747 832223
Mobile: 07761 561569
Email: restore@ivogc.com