“Time is the most valuable commodity – there is never enough”

Yosh Sagi entered the Perfection in Miniature Awards for the 1st time in 2020. No furniture maker had won 1st prize in this competition previously, so his entry was going to have to be something really special to scoop 1st place.

Chippendale Settee that won Yosh joint 1st place in the PIMA 2020

The COVID pandemic meant that there was more time than usual to create a PIMA entry, but as Yosh tells us, time was still his enemy. Here he tells us a little more about making his incredible Chippendale Settee, which took joint 1st place in the 2020 Awards..

How did you choose what piece to make for your 1st entry in the PIMA?
I wanted to make a piece which combined two main techniques. I am really into chairs, especially the style of Thomas Chippendale & I remembered this piece that I had seen some years ago on an antique dealers website. It was the the carved back splat that caught my eye.

How long did it take you to make?
I can estimate it took at least 150 hours of work from May and October 2020 – maybe more. In the end, with the deadline approaching, I spent 6 to 8 eight hours per day just to finish the embroidery. Most of the time I had available for making miniatures during September and October was dedicated to this one project.

What was the most challenging part? 
The toughest part was probably the details of the finishing the piece & the embroidery. It was difficult to find the right design (& final look) for the embroidery, the threads & stitches needed to reproduce what I had in my mind.  Placing the embroidery on the final piece was also a stressful task especially because I chose to hold it in place with brass pins, something I had never done before.

The carving was probably the easiest part for me. In my opinion the important thing is to scrape & sand the wood without damaging the precision & detail of the carving. It has to be neat for the staining & the French polishing which requires several coats & stages.

What new skills did you have to master?
I took advantage of making this settee to brush up on my carving skills & improve my embroidery. I only started embroidery a year ago & even though the design looks quite simple, as I’m a beginner, there were so many questions that I had to ask & I made many mistakes. I did several tests before starting the final pattern & finally decided that it would be a mix of needlepoint & bargello.

To see more of Yosh’s work, follow him on Instagram @yosh_sagi