Archive | September, 2011

The French Connection

23 Sep
Angel hat & coat rack, hand carved by Francois Derobe

Angel hat & coat rack, hand carved by Francois Derobe

The more perceptive among you will have noticed one or two Hooked on Hooks hat & coat racks adorned with extraordinarily skilled and artful carvings. Whether or not you have read the blurb attached to these, each one is the work of French Master Wood Carver [and Stone sculptor], Francois Derobe. Francois is a personal friend that I originally met through my partner’s sister.

Now imagine it – the marble statue of the Virgin Mary in the French town where you live has had an arm broken off by vandals. The ancient oak panelling in your local medieval church has finally succumbed to dry rot. The city hall over which you preside needs someone to knock up a very large oval table with 14 Louis XIV chairs to match – or is Louis XV? Either way, they are very ornate and light years beyond DIY as we know it. So who are you going to call?

Why Francois, of course.

Francois working on the angel coat rack in the Hooked on Hooks workshop

Francois working on the angel coat rack in the Hooked on Hooks workshop

Very fortunately for me, it is Francois and wife Denise who arrive on our doorstep each year, car  groaning under the weight of two delightful teenage children, luggage, and yes, some very choice sections of ancient French oak – oak that only a person Hooked on Hooks would be remotely interested in.And as if that were not enough to get the creative juices positively squirting, Francois never travels anywhere without at least 20 of his 140 woodcarving chisels and only needs to hear the words, The workshop isn’t locked, to discreetly vanish, only to return half a day later, looking as pleased with himself as a puppy with a slipper in its mouth, newly carved plinth done and dusted.

Merci beaucoup, Francois… Until next year…

What a site!

9 Sep

Frank&Alex Creative Services for all your website, office and personal needs

Question: What do Jane and Ben have in common with FrankandAlex?
Answer: FrankandAlex is a creative design company specialising in website design and it is the brainchild of Jane whose husband Ben also plays a key role.

So if you’ve visited the Hooked on Hooks website and were impressed by its uncluttered layout and the ease with which you can navigate your way around – and you happen to be searching for a top-notch website designer – then search no more. Jane and Ben own up to being entirely responsible for the site and I can thoroughly recommend them.

Now if like me the creation of a website appeared to be one of those technological conjuring tricks performed by ridiculously young people with acne and extra thick pebble glass lenses who spend their free time hacking into Pentagon websites, Jane and Ben will come as a very refreshing surprise. Ben’s a six-foot-five, virtual Robbie Williams lookalike, whilst Jane’s an extremely glamorous dark-haired beauty who’d probably look more at home on a film set than in front of a computer.

So whatever your needs – FrankandAlex Creative Services also specialise in design and print, brochures, logos, business cards, leaflets, photography, advertising, packaging, invitations, newsletters, exhibitions, signage, online advertising, eBay store design, search engine optimisation (SEO), web graphics, animations… everything really – check out their website at www.frank andalex., pick up the phone (01484 317189) or send an email (hello@ ) and find out for yourself how it feels to be on the receiving end of helpful, efficient professionals who know how to deliver.

And another Hooked on Hooks outlet

8 Sep

Gorgeous hand-carved hat & coat rack on sale at The Gallery for £160.00

This is the other outlet that you can walk into and see a range of Hooked on Hooks racks. The Gallery Stourhead is located in the Spread Eagle courtyard on the National Trust’s world-famous Stourhead Estate, on the B3092 just off the A303 near Mere. Recently expanded, The Gallery stocks a collection of paintings, pottery, sculptures, carvings and jewellery, and of course Hooked on Hooks’ racks. And if you haven’t been to Stourhead already, the gardens alone are well worth a visit. Do call to check availability of this rack. The number is 01747 840747. Or visit Happy days out!

Other Hooked on Hooks outlets

8 Sep

Five-hook coat rack on sale at Semley Reclamation for £105.00

If you are local to South Wiltshire or are in the area, you can visit two outlets that stock a range of Hooked on Hooks racks above and beyond what is for sale on the Hooked on Hooks’ website: www.hooked See next blog as well.

The first is Semley Reclamation at www.semley reclamation. . Just off the A390 between Shaftesbury and Warminster, Semley Reclamation even draws customers from London and always stocks an interesting collection of reclaimed items for inside and outside the home. They also offer a bespoke furniture-making service – and of course, a range of Hooked on Hooks racks and cabinets. Do check availability before your visit.

Key Solution (SOLD)

6 Sep

If you’re tired of misplacing your keys – door keys, car keys, garage keys, shed keys – here’s a solution from Hooked on Hooks that not only stores your keys in one place, but looks brilliant too – a key cabinet. Hand made from reclaimed wood –  most of it over 300 years old – this is more than just box for keys, it is a ‘modern antique’, guaranteed to enhance the look of any hall, porch or room. For more details click on the link: And while you’re there, check out my other racks of hooks for hats, coats, cups, dog leads etc.