Behind the tools
Polly Waite is a classically trained and qualified upholsterer and furniture restorer. She is a member of the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishing and has been working professionally in the industry for over 15 years. Polly comes from a background in design and a family history in antiques. Since training she has been using her trained eye to turn tired old chairs into one of a kind, coveted pieces. There have been many creative and challenging commissions over the years; from double decker buses, handmade cloud sofas for a festival and countless treasured antique restoration. Nothing has been too big, small, or strange to be taken on with passion and skill.
When Polly isn’t busy sharing her skill, passion, and knowledge with others, she’s putting her creativity and skills into practice. You can normally find her in her studio creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind chairs. She truly believes that chairs are not just a functional piece of furniture but something that we have an attachment too. When questioned on this she said “We all have our favourite chair, that place we curl up in at the end of long day, our favourite reading spot, where we read to our children or grandchildren and where we daydream of things to come. So, you see a chair is much more than a chair and I feel they should be designed with this in mind. This is why I put so much thought, love, and time into everything I make.” It is this passion and skill that has made her a trusted member of The House of Upcycling and a mentor to future upholsterers.
Polly Waite was also asked to be a specialist restorer on Channel 4’s show, Mend It For Money.
Working alongside Polly is Amy Ratliffe. Amy has a background in textile design and has a passion for weaving. She is an experienced upholsterer and is our little girl wonder. When she is not helping students or working on commissions, she is usually found practicing some new craft she just found out about.