Furniture Making Courses

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Craftsmanship Taster CourseCraftsman CourseMaster Craftsman CourseDesigner Maker Course

The Waters and Acland fine furniture school brings to the tuition of furniture making courses the same level of passion, expertise and attention to detail that is put into the design, build and finish of every Waters and Acland bespoke commission. As with all our bespoke work ‘Perfection in the making’ is our guiding principal and a visit to our furniture school is highly recommended to see the quality of both the workshop facilities and the furniture making  courses available.
The furniture school offers a range of furniture making courses from the one week craftsmanship taster course, to our 12 week Made by Hand ‘Craftsman Course’ for those dedicated to making purely by hand (no power tools here), right through to the 44 week designer maker course. Each furniture making course is designed to accommodate people of varying starting abilities from total beginners to time served cabinet makers. With limited student numbers and a dedicated team of tutors, individual tailored tuition is the starting point. Add to this our verging on evangelical belief that one on one hand skills training is essential for those striving for \’Perfection in the making\’ and our courses are ready to start creating the hand tool masters, master cabinet makers and furniture designer makers of the future.

Craftmanship Taster Course 1 Week

This one week furniture making course is designed for both beginners and those with previous furniture making experience alike. It’s also a great option for those wanting to get a feel for what life is like in the school before committing to one of our longer format courses. It’s an intense and fun week!

Your week within the furniture school will guide and inspire you to make things to professional standards. You will learn how to select and fine tune hand tools that will then be used to produce, completely by hand, a small but finely crafted piece to take home.
As the furniture school is based at the heart of our award winning cabinet making workshop and school you will be encouraged to observe, touch, feel and admire the production of the Guild Mark quality furniture being crafted by our dedicated and highly skilled team of cabinet makers as well as our current and inspiring crop of ‘Designer maker course’ students.

Book Now

contact us leaving your details and preferred start dates and we will be in touch to discuss availability.

Fees

Course fees are £725
All material costs are included but not meals and accommodation.

Course dates

Click here for course dates and availability.

Terms and Conditions

Full terms and conditions are available by downloading our application form.

Download Application form

Visiting

A visit to the workshops and Fine Furniture School will allow you to see first hand the exceptional quality of our furniture school and cabinet making workshop facilities here in the Lake District. Please contact us to discuss any further details or to arrange a visit.

Course Content
Hand tool selection
Sharpening of hand tools
Using marking and measuring tools
Perfect planing and chiselling
Understanding workshop drawings
Timber selection
Understanding jointing techniques
Practice joints
Final project

Students Typical Day

All our furniture making courses can be tailored to meet the goals of students at all levels of expertise from total beginners to practicing professionals. Please contact us to book your place.

Furniture making taster course Furniture making course


Craftsman Course 3 Month

The 3 month craftsman course has now been replaced by the 1 term version of our designer maker course. For more details please contact Will or Oliver at info@watersandacland.co.uk

The course for the purist. The maker with a passion for crafting completely by hand. The maker with a love of hand tools and a desire to step away from power tools and woodworking machinery. This is just you, your tools and the most beautiful material of all. Wood!!!

At the heart of all fine furniture is a cabinet maker whose mastery of fine hand tools is exceptional. The ‘craftsman’ furniture making course is based on small group sizes, a high tutor to student ratio and lots of one on one tuition in the art of selecting, fine tuning and using a range of fine hand tools. Each student will have their own, or access to our, incredible array of hand tools. They will be guided through the process of fine tuning, sharpening and using each tool to give ultimate control. Complex joinery is studied and practised to produce perfect crisp joints and a series of Waters and Acland projects are undertaken, each selected to introduce a further level of skill and technique. Students on the craftsman course will leave with not only a wealth of knowledge and experience but also a selection of finely crafted pieces.
As with all our furniture making courses the student bench room is at the heart of our award winning cabinet making workshops and school. This allows  students within the furniture school to interact on a daily basis with the inner workings of a professional cabinet making workshop and our master cabinet makers encourage our students to observe closely the techniques used when making Guild mark quality furniture.

Book Now

contact us leaving your details and preferred start dates and we will be in touch to discuss availability.

Fees

The 3 month craftsman course has now been replaced by the 1 term version of our designer maker course. For more details please contact Will or Oliver at info@watersandacland.co.uk

All material costs for set projects are included but not meals and accommodation. Special accommodation rates available.

In addition to the course fees you will need to cover the cost of purchasing your own collection of fine hand tools. We estimate this to be between £1000-2000.

Course dates

Click here for course dates and current availability.

Terms and Conditions

Full terms and conditions are available by downloading our application form.

Download Application form

Visiting

A visit to the cabinet making workshops and Fine Furniture School will allow you to see first hand the exceptional quality of our  furniture school and workshop facilities here in the Lake District. Please contact us to discuss any further details or to arrange a visit.

Course Content
Hand tool selection
Sharpening of hand tools
Using marking and measuring tools
Perfect planing and chiselling
Understanding workshop drawings
Timber selection
Understanding jointing techniques
Practice joints
Waters and Acland \’starter\’
Projects (breadboards/Chinese puzzle/dovetailed book ends)
Glue up and cramping techniques
Final project (wall hanging cabinet)
Fine finishing (the perfect hand applied finish)

Students Typical Day

All our furniture making courses can be tailored to meet the goals of students at all levels of expertise from total beginners to practicing cabinet makers. Please contact us to book your place.

Fine furniture making course Group furniture making course machine furniture making course hand furniture making course


Craftsman Course 6 Months

The 6 month master craftsmen course has now been replaced by a 2 term version of our designer maker course. Please contact info@watersandacland.co.uk for further details.

Building on the skills learned by following the ‘craftsman’ furniture making course (see above), the ‘master craftsman’ furniture making course introduces and through small group and largely one on one tuition, guides students through the safe and accurate use of machine tools.
A further series of Waters and Acland projects are undertaken which push the makers hand skills even further but that also provide a solid grounding in the use of both hand held power tools and heavy machinery. Centuries old cabinet making techniques for perfectly fitting drawers and accurately fitting cabinet doors are introduced whilst hand shaping, carving, veneering and marquetry may also be achieved.
In any six month period within the Waters and Acland furniture school students will feel very much part of the workings of an award winning cabinet making workshop. Guild mark quality furniture will be designed, created and often exhibited within the commercial workshop and our students are encouraged to feel part of this process. A series of visits to furniture and design exhibitions, museums, historic houses, timber suppliers and other workshops are optional and for those with design ambitions Will Acland hosts regular design seminars and Q and A sessions.
The master craftsman furniture making course seeks to provide an in depth knowledge in all areas of fine furniture making whilst allowing our students to create a series of beautifully designed and perfectly made pieces of fine furniture to take home.

Book Now

contact us leaving your details and preferred start dates and we will be in touch to discuss availability.

Fees

The 6 month master craftsman course has now been replaced by the 2 term version of our designer maker course. For more details please contact Will or Oliver at info@watersandacland.co.uk

All materials for set projects  are included but not meals and accommodation.
In addition to the course fees you will need to cover the cost of purchasing your own collection of fine hand tools. We estimate this to be between £1000-2000.

Course dates

Start dates are available throughout the year.
contact us for more details.

Terms and Conditions

Full terms and conditions are available by downloading our application form.

Download Application form

Visiting

A visit to the workshops and Fine Furniture School will allow you to see first hand the exceptional quality of our fine furniture school and cabinet making workshop facilities here in the Lake District. Please contact us to discuss any further details or to arrange a visit.

Course Content
Hand tool selection
Sharpening of hand tools
Using marking and measuring tools
Perfect planing and chiselling
Practice joints
Understanding workshop drawings
Timber selection
Waters and Acland ‘starter’ Projects (breadboards/Chinese puzzle/dovetailed book ends)
Creating workshop drawings
Glue up and cramping techniques
Fine finishing
Machine tools: Techniques and Safety guidance
Hand held Power Tools: Techniques and Safety guidance
Waters and Acland ‘Advanced’ Project: Wall unit (dovetail carcase and perfect door fitting)

Students Typical Day

All our furniture making courses can be tailored to meet the goals of students at all levels of expertise from total beginners to practicing cabinet makers. Please contact us to book your place.

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Designer Maker Course 12 Months

Our new look Designer Maker Course is now available as 1 , 2 or the full 3 term (44 week) course. We plan a full update of the courses info pages of the website soon but for now here are a few words that describe the new course structure and content. Feel free to get in touch in order to ask questions or to arrange a visit to the workshop and school.

DESIGNER MAKER COURSES 2019/20

Designer Maker

44 weeks Designer Maker Course (terms 1,2 & 3)

28 weeks Designer Maker Course (terms 1 & 2)

15 weeks Designer Maker Course (term 1 only)

Term 1 : ‘Total immersion’.

This is the most intense period within the furniture school. The winter term is all about total immersion in all aspects of furniture making and furniture design. During this 15 week term our designer maker students will devote hundreds of hours to learning the core cabinet making hand skills. They will work closely and intensively with head tutor Graham Loveridge and through the carefully designed set projects develop high level skills in areas such as tool preparation & sharpening, accurate hand planing, precision chisel work, marking and measuring, jointing, carcass creation, making and fitting doors and piston fit drawers, inlay, veneering and much more.

Running alongside this essential ‘core handskills’ training we run a series of ‘specialist training days’. We cover areas of furniture making that will both inform and inspire our designer makers. Topics such as laminating, shaping, carving, surface treatments and creative finishing, advanced veneering and marquetry, jig creation and much more are covered. These ‘hands on’ days are designed to expose our students to what is possible. To inspire. To sow the seeds of future designs.

And lets not forget the machine shop and the use of portable power tools. The set projects are designed to introduce and then master the use of the machines in our machine shop. We are realists. We understand that ‘core handskills’ are at the heart of every maker of fine furniture but we also understand that woodwork machines and portable power tools are an essential ingredient in the modern designer makers studio / workshop. By the end of the winter term our designer maker students will have received detailed training in the safe use of all the machines and power tools within the furniture school. Culminating in the occasional table project’ which is made almost entirely by machine but which is always finessed with hand tools. This combination of fine hand skills and the skilled use of power tools forms the basis of all that we do within the ‘pro workshop’ and furniture school. This is real life and often cutting edge furniture making.

Technical Design training is just as intense. Every project is drawn up on the computer. Starting with the simple ‘chinese puzzle’ project, head design tutor Will Acland walks our designer maker students through the use of Sketch Up and Layout. Workshop drawings, cutting lists and an order of process are created for each and every project made within the furniture school and this level of professional practise is insisted upon throughout the 44 weeks within the school. An essential ingredient in building confidence and self reliance within our designer maker students. The mission being to have at least one ‘self designed’ project meticulously designed, drawn up and well on the way before the end of term. For those that are only here for the first term we strongly advise that this first project is finished before they leave. For those staying for the spring and summer terms this project can be a touch more ambitious and run over into two term.

The mystery ingredient in this most intensive of times within the furniture school is creativity. It is important to us. We encourage it. We teach it. We inspire our designer maker students to express themselves and to develop their own design style. From Holly Acland’s drawing classes to Will Acland’s one on one design development sessions our mission is to empower our students to make  considered design choices. To create pieces of beauty. To create the antiques of the future. To become true DESIGNER MAKERS.

Term 2 : ‘Building confidence’.

So our designer maker students now have excellent core hand skills. They are confident around woodworking machinery. They are proficient in the use of design software. They understand processes and professional practise within a designer maker studio / workshop. They are fizzing with design concepts and importantly they have design 1 nearing completion and design 2 ready to go as this forms the basis of what’s to come in term 2. Designing and making ever more complex pieces of furniture in conjunction with the tutors within the school. Each project being designed alongside Will Acland in the design studio. Each project being made with one on one guidance from Graham Loveridge in the bench room. Each project being designed for good reasons. To introduce new skills. To embed core skills. To practise traditional and contemporary joinery techniques. To build confidence in all areas within the workshop and school.

The specialist training days continue but their focus changes. Less focus on the technical aspects of furniture making and more towards design, inspiration and for those wanting to turn pro, starting your own designer maker business. We organise trips to galleries and exhibitions as well as visits to other designer maker workshops and timber suppliers. The purpose of these trips is clear. It’s to empower our designer makers. To build confidence and to show them that the dream of becoming a true designer and maker of fine furniture is very much achievable.

Term 3 : ‘Learning to sail your own ship’.

Being a designer maker of fine furniture requires a number of things. The ability to make to a high level is a starting point. So is an eye for design and the ability to turn these ideas into working drawings. Problem solving isn’t far behind and an understanding of how to run a small business and sell your fine furniture is another key skill. But one theme that runs throughout all of these concepts is ‘self reliance’. The confidence to make decisions, to design, to make independently is absolutely key to future success, and it is this ‘self reliance’ that is at the heart of term 3 on the designer maker course. During terms 1 and 2 we have worked hard to give you the skill and the knowledge to design, make and sell furniture. We have walked you thorough the design and build of a number of set and self designed projects. It’s now time to go solo! To drive your projects independently. The resources will still be there. The same level of access to teaching exists. The big difference is that the designer maker student now sets the agenda. From the design, to testing, to the final making, we now want our students to lead. The school and tutors are now a resource. A resource in terms of the quality workshop facilities but also a resource in terms of knowledge. The same level of tuition remains but instead of us running the show, it’s over to you. The DESIGNER MAKER!!!

Book Now

contact us leaving your details and preferred start dates and we will be in touch to discuss availability.

Fees

44 weeks Designer Maker Course (terms 1,2 & 3) £17750

28 weeks Designer Maker Course (terms 1 & 2) £13750

15 weeks Designer Maker Course (term 1 only) £9750

Fees include materials for set projects.
In addition to the course fees you will need to cover the cost of purchasing your own collection of fine hand tools , assorted consumables and the materials for additional projects. We estimate this to be between £1000-3000.

Accommodation and meals are not included but special accommodation rates are available and a list of accommodation providers can be found via our locations page.
For help finding accommodation contact Carol at carol@watersandacland.co.uk

Course dates

Start dates are available throughout the year.
contact us for more details.

Terms and Conditions

Full terms and conditions are available by downloading our application form.

Download Application form

Visiting

A visit to the workshops and Fine Furniture School will allow you to see first hand the exceptional quality of our fine furniture school and workshop facilities here in the Lake District. Please contact us to discuss any further details or to arrange a visit.

Course Content
Hand tool selection
Sharpening of hand tools
Using marking and measuring tools
Perfect planing and chiselling
Timber selection
Understanding jointing techniques
Practice joints
Understanding workshop drawings
Waters and Acland Projects: (breadboards/Chinese puzzle/dovetailed book ends)
Creating workshop drawings
Glue up and cramping techniques
Waters and Acland ‘intermediate’ Project: stool (optional)
Introduction to Machine tools
Introduction to hand held Power Tools
Waters and Acland ‘Advanced’ Project: Wall unit(dovetail carcase and perfect door fitting)
Waters and Acland ‘Advanced’ Project: Small chest of drawers (optional)
Advanced machine tool techniques
Advanced router techniques
Advanced wood finishing techniques
Preparing workshop Drawings and using CAD software
Drawing skills (still life drawing classes/sketchbook sessions etc.)
Veneering, laminating, shaping, carving.
Jig creation and advanced spindle moulder techniques
Advanced construction techniques
Individual tailored projects designed and made by Students…….

For those wishing to start there own business as designer makers we offer advice in business skills including the requirements for setting up a business, marketing and promotions, the web and social media amongst many more valuable insights. This part of the course is mentored by Oliver Waters who before becoming a fine furniture maker was European marketing manager for an International Software company.

Students Typical Day

All our courses can be tailored to meet the goals of students at all levels of expertise from total beginners to practicing professionals. Please contact us to book your place.

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