The furniture school is buzzing at the moment. It’s just how we like it with a great mix of new starters, students that are well on their way with the set projects and others getting stuck into making self designed projects.
It was great to welcome Fer and James into the workshop over the past few weeks. Neither have past making or designing experience but both come with huge enthusiasm and a thirst to learn.
Here Fer is tackling the very first set project. The octagonal breadboard. The feeling of making those first super fine shavings just can’t be beaten. We feel confident that Fer is going to love her experience within the school. A great creative journey begins.
Whilst James, who is now into his 3rd week, takes on the mortise and tenon joints on the stool. This is a deceptively tricky piece that requires all the skills learnt during the previous set projects. These first weeks are all about deep practise with the core hand tools. James is progressing well and his joints are already nice and crisp. It’s all about practise, practise, practise. As much bench time as you can manage!!!
In bench room two both Craig and Chris are making drawers. We always encourage students to design and make at least one project that includes traditionally fitted drawers. It doesn’t mean the piece has to look traditional it’s just that any cabinet maker worth his or her salt should be able to construct and fit a drawer to exacting standards. It’s a sign of craftsmanship and the first thing people look at when inspecting a piece in a showroom or at an exhibition. So often a piece is let down by ill fitting drawers with poorly executed dovetails. Not in our workshop and school.
Chris has done an incredible job with his sideboard. Not only is the design superb the execution is also exceptional. During his time with us Chris has become a patient and accurate furniture maker. He has clearly absorbed so much of our head tutor Grahams approach to furniture making. Meticulous planning. Obsession for quality and detail. Knowing when to move fast and when to take time. It’s brilliant to see and we expect him to finish this piece to professional standards.
There’s lots more to come from this cabinet and I will feature more photography and technical details of this amazing cabinet when we have the studio shots of the finished piece. It’s going to be very special.
Craig has decided to feature natural waney edges in his bedside cabinet design. We love the way the natural edges form the drawer handles and very much look forward to seeing the finished results and the contrast this creates with the sharp clean lines of the sycamore carcase.
One of the more challenging aspects of Craig’s design was how to deal with the interaction between the drawer sides and the waney edged drawer fronts. As with all aspects of design within the furniture school our students work closely with designer Will Acland in order to resolve all the details. Will believes that detail is everything when designing fine furniture and tries to inspire our students to keep pushing until all elements of the design feel harmonious.
Although every drawer side needed hand shaping in order to flow with the drawer fronts we believe the results will be well worth the effort.
We love having all this creativity going on in the school. Long may it continue…