Ok, so 8 years of legal education later – 6 years part-time to do a law degree (LLB (Hons)) and a further 2 years to do the BVC (Bar Vocational Course). Graduated with decent grades, but can’t get a pupillage (a trainee barrister’s job), so it seemed only natural to make the seamless move to painting and refurbishing furniture!

I’d still like to be a barrister, but in the meantime I need to earn a living and just as importantly, I need something to focus on that doesn’t involve endless job application forms.

I spent 19 years running a business (made and sold cosmetics) prior to my latest venture, so have some experience of making and selling under my belt. Nevertheless the furniture is proving to be a steep learning curve, and I’m enjoying the new challenges before me.  My love of wood is inherited from my dad, who used to make, refurbish and sell furniture back in the 90’s. He’s now in his late 70’s, but gets dragged out of retirement on a regular basis to help out and advise.

The brains behind the business is my lovely horse ‘Jasper’. He has been with me since he was 6 months old and knee high to a grasshopper. He is part Clydesdale and now a big strapping teenage lad, who on occasions likes to throw his (considerable) weight around. During last Winter’s cold spell, his (old but very expensive) rug got ripped (see, I told you he likes throwing his weight around) and I promised him that when he was a barrister’s horse, he would have a plentiful supply of posh, new rugs to wear. The ‘barrister’s horse’ thing stuck, hence the business name.

Here we are taking a stroll near to home - I'm the short, fat and hairy one:-)

I am married and live in a small Lincolnshire village, which is a bit ‘back of beyond’, but I love it here. It’s the perfect peaceful environment for painting furniture – if only I could magic my stuff to London and all the other places my furniture goes to, freight is an expensive business these days!

This blog is all about what I do, what works, what doesn’t, which products are good, which aren’t so hot. It’s also a bit of a showcase for some of my work.


26 thoughts on “About”

  1. lorraine hanshaw said:

    Hi i emailed you on ebay, and have just clicked onto your blog. my word how impresive your work is, i would love to be as successful in the painting of my kitchen table as explained, you sure have a talent,,lorraine

  2. You’ll be fine Lorraine. Just remember that the table will look worse before it looks better, so keep calm and carry on:-) Preparation is the key and should take you longer than the painting. If you’ve prepped well, the painting will be a breeze.

    Good Luck!

  3. I too have just found you on ebay and purchased the sideboard with the hummingbird painted on it, even though I have nowhere to put it!! I will find space. The problem for me is that my husband is a joiner and regularly comes home with something he has rescued or decided to make. It’s taking some time to bring him round to the idea of painting old wooden furniture.

    I worked for a barrister for 13 years until she retired, but I have to say, I think you should stick with the painting. You are hugely talented and should start emailing your work to some major store buyers.

    I sent you an email about packing and shipping and await your reply.

    Good luck, will be watching your work from now on.

    • Thankyou for your kind words; I always get a swell of happiness when I sell a piece and that feeling does make me wonder whether my calling is the Bar or the paintbrush:-) My heart tells me one thing, my bank account the other! 🙂 Cest la vie.


  4. I really love this table and chairs: https://thebarristershorse.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/2-down-still-lots-to-go/
    The decoration on the bottom of the table is so beautiful and the chairs are very unusual. I am sorry I missed this one!
    Have you anything like this that you are planning on working on in the near future?

  5. Katie Wickes said:

    Hello. Like others I’ve discovered you via e-bay and am loving your work! The armoire looks interesting, I’ll keep a close eye on that one as I’m looking for one at the moment – could you let me know the dimensions when you have time please. Unfortunately I do live in Brighton so the costs involved in getting to me are large so can’t promise a purchase but will be interested to see how much I love it when you’ve worked your magic. Might just indulge myself!

  6. Hi Jackie – Lovely to meet you today. Let’s just say that what I said I would do when I got home, I did. Lovely Blog, so happy to be able to see the owner of Chez Jasper! He looks lovely.

  7. Hi Just found your site by accident but glad I did, where are your courses being held?

    Regards Gill

  8. I just found you today via Miss Mustard Seed, and I just subscribed.

    Your blog is so original, and a breath of fresh air!

  9. I’ve just found your work from google-ing “old ochre”. I have an old chest of drawers I bought from an elderly lady in the area. I started to use “antique white” which I think is a Dulux colour but its just not having the desired effect! So, I think I might order some of your favourite colour! I too think you are very talented and should stick to painting as you clearly have a passion. I am a young-ish solicitor so I know all about the training and endless applications! I do however, find myself longing for a creative job so the grass isn’t always greener!

    • Hi Elisabeth,

      I’m sure you’ll like the Old Ochre; it’s so neutral, yet also interesting because it has patina – you’ll see it when you get the wax on, the colour variation adds something to a piece of furniture.

      As for the Bar. I miss law very much, but do very much enjoy what I do now. I suppose it’s all those years of studying that I feel have gone to waste; it makes me feel I ought to be putting the learning to good use. But I don’t lose sight of the fact that I’m fortunate enough to be doing a job that I like, and there are many others out there who have jobs they hate.

      Good luck with the chest of drawers.


  10. Hi Jackie,

    No time learning is ever wasted, law applies to everything you do in life and most people have to contact a lawyer or barrister at some point in their business I am sure you could do both things vey well and the right career will come along when you least expect it, and I dare say it will involve both things you love doing, have faith you are at a crossroads at the moment but one day it will all become clear and you will know why you have gone down the path you are on at this time.

    Kind Regards

  11. There is a sign it is just not visible to you yet as you are looking to hard at the moment, go with the flow and before you know all will become clear.

    Kind Regards

  12. Elizabeth said:

    Hi ……I too have been experimenting with Autentico. I recently ‘found’ Annie Sloan and at first try, with pure white on pine, and had great results. I next tried the slightly blue green shade and had great difficulty getting the paint on evenly. It might have been the wood? it was a 1930’s sideboard…..but it made me take a look for alternatives…..

  13. Elizabeth said:

    I don’t have a website yet but use FB chic.at.vintage I recently finished a table using Autentico and loved using it……..

  14. I just found your blog today and I love your posts, especially about Jasper. I have a welsh sec d called Jack and called my studio after him (Applejack). Horses have such wonderful personalities, Jack is 19 and still behaves like a 4 year old!! I’ve had him for 12 years and can’t even begin to put into words how lucky I feel to have him in my life 🙂 Thanks for sharing Jasper with us xx

  15. james Oldfield said:

    Hi Please could I book your next available course?

  16. Hi Jackie – delighted to come across your website. You’re travelling a journey not so different to my own, though I’m 20 years ahead of you, I fear 😦 Qualified as a barrister, never practised, got sidetracked into the world of legal gifts, which is how I found your wonderful legal door knob! Pleased as punch to come across you. Can you make more for me? And maybe others with a legal theme? I’ve just bought one from your shop on eBay.

    • Hello Philip,

      I used to browse your web-shop when I was studying BVC. After hours on the computer, I would go off ‘on a frolic’ for 5 minutes (well okay an hour) to browse the goodies on offer.

      I’d be delighted to design and make some legally themed knobs for you.

      Kind regards

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