Tea Green Tables for VA Dundee

Two years… twoooo years, I can not believe it has been almost two years since I last posted on my blog… sorry guys :-/

2019 was my busiest year yet! Tayberry Gallery turned 10 in August, I held more workshops than ever before, launched a new collection of spoons, lead the install of Dundee Design Festival and completed my biggest project to date, making forty four tables for the best design market of the year!

I have worked with Jo of Tea Green Events lots over the last few years, installing her various pop up shops and it’s always been ace! (It also helps that we are really good pals!!) Jo’s big goal was to host the first design market at the V&A Dundee, and in 2019 she made it happen!

Jo wanted to make this market different from any she had organised before and came to me with a vision of making bespoke display tables. We went through loads of options, and settled on wooden A-frame tables, that would give designers loads of ways to display their work.

The first task was to decide sizes and build a prototype. Here it is… (and Jo!!)

Once we had our prototype we tweaked the size and a few details, then got all of the measurements for the final design.

At the start of October the wood started to arrive, by the lorry load!!

The first to do list was pretty daunting…

Cut 44 table tops

Cut 90 plinth tops

176 legs to be cut to size

132 dowels to cut

132 under table supports to cut

Drill 1320 holes (my Dad did 176 of them – thanks Dad!!)

Whilst Dad made his way through the pile, I used a jig I made to fix the supports to the underside of the table tops. When making lots of the same thing, spending time making jigs to ensure every element is identical is so worthwhile.

Once the two end pieces were fixed on I removed the jig and fitted a middle piece to help strengthen the tops. Then they were ready to head to the spray factory to be transformed.

Next up was the dowels, I cut them all to size, then took them back to the workshop to be sanded. Jo got local jeweller Christina Vernon and her sister Hannah in to help with the never ending sanding!! They were great!!

The legs were next, they needed to be drilled in two places with a 29mm drill bit, to make it as easy as possible I made a jig that had two stop points.

I then took the sanded dowels and drilled the holes for the metal pins. They needed split in to 3 bundles of 44 and each bundle drilled in slightly different places. Pic below..

Once they were done we were almost there. The only thing left to cut and drill was the diagonal supports for across the back of each table. There was only 44 of those to cut, easy peasy! Hehe!

Next up we went to collect the table tops from the spray factory. Here they are on the drying rack waiting to be wrapped.

The day before the show Jo and I got Marc (install tech pal and fellow interior design graduate) in to help. We rented a van and filled it, and Jo’s car and Marc’s van… van Tetris is one of my favourite games, check out the satisfaction below…

Install day arrived. We had Marc again for the whole day and Jo had her trusty helper Ken, and her lovely sister Lauren and her husband Andy who all got stuck in right from the start – such a top bunch!! We arrived at the V&A first thing and unloaded all the vehicles. We got to drive in to their massive loading bay, it was affa exciting!!

Marc and I built the tables whilst the rest of the gang made up hundreds of storage boxes and bigger boxes that were used as plinths. Could have made the best box fort ever… but didn’t have time 😦

This was over the half way point. I loved seeing them all lined up like a wee army! Was super satisfying seeing the giant piles of materials dwindle and the army of tables growing!! And the moment we put the spirit level on a table and it was perfect – that was pretty great!

The V&A had an event on that evening, so once all of the tables were built and boxes erected we headed out for dinner and returned at 10pm when the event was finishing up. We still had Marc and our helpers, and this time my parents came along too! (They bought me my dinner too – they’re the best!)

Once the event was cleared we started taking tables out and getting them in place.

Once all of the tables were in place we hung festoon lighting all along the tops.

And each table got a plinth and a couple of storage boxes. My Dad got really in to the box carrying challenge… here he is with the biggest stack.

We had everything set up and looking lovely by 2am, all ready for the designers arriving in the morning!!

I arrived early on the Saturday morning with Jo to do some last minute checks and make sure everything was as it should be.

Then it was time to take off my Tea Green hat and put my Louise Forbes Design hat back on. Islay and I had a wee area of our own, I had a table with my spoons and boards, Islay had a table for her jewellery and kilt pins and then we had a table between us for our Man Pins. Here’s our set up…

The market was a great success, and great fun to be at! It was my best market ever by a long shot, lots of spoons and Man Pins went off to their new homes 👍

The market finished at 5pm on the Sunday, and it was time to take everything down and have another game of van Tetris! This time we had a load of Dundee based exhibitors and pals stay to help.. legends!! We had it all down and packed away by just after 9pm and I couldn’t have been happier!!

One of our legend helpers, Annie Marrs, came with a massive van!! This meant we only had to pack one van instead of the three we’d arrived in, was a tight fit, but we got it all in!!

Before we left we took an end of night team snap in front of the biggest lift I’ve ever seen!! Here’s the Tea Green Dream Team!!

Had such a good time working on this project and really grateful to Jo for believing in me and trusting me with making it all.

If you missed the design market and a chance to see the tables, don’t worry, Jo has more planned in 2020!! Keep an eye out on Tea Green Events for more info, website below 🙂


Author: louiseforbesdesign

My work life is wonderfully varied. I co-own Tayberry Gallery in Perth, Scotland with jeweller Sarah Spalding. When I'm not in the gallery I do my own work, which usually involves wood! I make lots of wooden kitchen products, hand carved spoons, stirrey sticks and bowls boards. I'm also an interior designer, so do consultations and full interiors. As well as my own businesses I work as an install technician at the DCA and Dundee University. I was involved with the install of the Dundee Design Festival in 2017, in West Ward Works - it was a brilliant building to work in.

2 thoughts on “Tea Green Tables for VA Dundee”

  1. Amazing Louise, cracking stands and cartwheels.
    Onwards and upwards for a bit of a crazy year just now, but you and Jo, together or apart are an unstoppable force. X

    Liked by 1 person

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