This week, we popped down to see Stephen Pettifer to talk about his work as a sculptor and his favourite Guillotine-England Gilet. Stephen is a Sculptor and Art Restorer and runs Coade Ltd, a restoration workshop in the beautiful old stable yard at Wilton House in Wiltshire. Coade Ltd work on restoration projects work for museums, historic and private houses, royal palaces and do commercial work which includes the human form and animals to name a few. The south-west sun was shining and we took the opportunity to take in a guided tour of the facility.
It was an eye-opener as far as we were concerned and everywhere you looked was another stunning piece of artwork undergoing some kind of repair. There are 9 in the Coade team who work in a variety of materials including bronze, plaster, iron, lead. Their expertise stretches from Roman and Greek sculptures through to 19th century and more contemporary pieces. Wandering around the workshops was what you would imagine the warehouse at the V & A to look like.
With the tour over we headed into the main room to interview Stephen under the gaze of one of the largest kilns, you will ever see. Not surprising as the flowering goddess Flora was waiting to pop her head in the door for a tan.
Stephen told us a wonderful story about how he had first come across Guillotine England when filming a shoot for house and garden magazine. Jerome had come along with a selection of gilets to Messums gallery in Tisbury only to walk away empty handed as 6 gilets were sold to both Stephen, the photographer and the magazine editor. A great day for Guillotine salesmanship, with Jerome at his gleaming best.
He also described how he had taken his Gilet to Amsterdam recently and ended up essentially living in it. It is always good to meet a fan of our luxury gilets and Stephen had an opinion on every aspect. Especially the ability to not have to iron your shirt, just do the buttons up to the top and you will look smart.
A huge thank you to Stephen and the team for giving up their time to talk to us. We love having such fascinating craftsmanship on our doorstep here in Wiltshire.
If you love your gilet and want to share your story with us then please give us a call and we will come out and interview you for our story.