Those of you who are long-time readers our website will know that we are huge fans of the circuits around the world.
Imagine our excitement when we discovered Graham & Leigh, a British-based company which produces beautiful frames that aim to bring motorsport fans even closer to their favourite race circuits.
Founded in October 2013 by Andy Graham and Barbara Leigh, the Sutton-based couple has shot to fame with their LINES range: a collection of individual or a trio of circuits which are made from laser-cut plywood and then specially mounted into ready-to-hang frames.
“We both have had a love of motorsport from an early age,” Andy tells us.
“We also share a love of art, design and the natural beauty of wood. This all came to a head when a friend said ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to cut circuits out of plywood?’
“I mentioned this to Barbara and she surprised me with a gift of my three favourite circuits. A design of mounting was decided and that was that.”
Buyers choose the combination of circuits they would like to have displayed, which are then laser cut from Baltic birch ply and ‘float’ above an etched backing board measuring 15cm x 10cm (6” x 4”) to create a three-dimensional effect. The circuits are then presented to the customer in a handmade hardwood frame, which can be made from a choice of woods.
“Barbara does all the design, scaling, cutting and I frame the pieces. We have our frame material machined by a good friend,” Andy continues.
“Each selected circuit is drawn out through a 2D design programme by Barbara. Depending on the complexity of the circuit, this can take up to two hours to complete. This is then sent to the laser cutter. A single circuit can take up to 15 minutes to etch and cut.
“The piece then comes to me, where the frame – each made to order – is constructed, stained and/or oiled, followed by the backing being cut, fillet strips inserted.
“The circuit is mounted and the piece is then glazed, quality checked and packaged for shipping. We sell worldwide.”
Their increased profile and broader customer demands has seen the Graham & Leigh circuit range expand well beyond your traditional range of past and present Formula 1 circuits.
One of their more recent forays has been their Signature Series partnership with Sir Stirling Moss, who has personally signed a number of pieces including the 1955 Spa-Francorchamps, 1960 Monaco and classic Goodwood layouts, as well as the fearsome Mille Miglia. Other signature partnerships include Carl Fogarty and Valentino Rossi-signed pieces.
Another hot seller has been the Silverstone 50, a design showcasing three different layouts of the British Grand Prix venue, bookended by its 1948 and present-day ‘Arena’ layouts.
“Silverstone, Suzuka, Monaco are all favourites,” Andy says of their highest sellers. “We can recreate any circuit from anywhere in the world, so our ‘range’ is driven by the imagination of our clients!”
When you look at this quality and range, it’s not hard to see why Graham & Leigh products are highly sought after among the motorsport community.
“Funnily enough, we have had many drivers’ wives or family members asking for pieces for the driver as a gift,” Andy adds.
“Our customers include Le Mans winners, F1 drivers and TV commentators, BTCC drivers, who all have our pieces on their walls at home. We have reproduced many pieces for the Williams F1 team for their VIP hospitality guests as well.”
To find out more about Graham & Leigh, please visit their website by clicking here.
Images via Graham & Leigh
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