Project Description




When looking at the achievements of Fer during her Designer Maker course here at the school you can’t look past the incredible pair of bedside cabinets she designed and made during term 3. These cabinets are a real reflection of how Fer approached the key elements of the course. Design and Furniture making. From the early projects in term 1 through to the creation of these award winning master pieces Fer always looked to be as creative as possible. Always fizzing with ideas and daring to try new things. When others were cutting straight lines and right angles with inlay during the occasional table set project Fer was creating spirals and there wasn’t a straight line in sight. But this was playing for the sake of it. Fer worked hard with Will Acland during the regular design sessions and grasped the design principals well. And the results were simply stunning.


And we’re not the only ones who think so. Fer exhibited her work at the prestigious Celebration of Craftsmanship exhibition in Cheltenham and despite being invited to exhibit as a student of the furniture school her cabinets won the top prize. The 2019 Furniture Makers Company – Design Award.

This is what the judges thought.

Winner: Fernanda Nunez ‘Guilloche’ Bedside Tables

Recently graduated from Waters and Acland Furniture School, Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design was Fer’s very first exhibition experience. To say that she was delighted and slightly stunned to be selected as the winner of this years award by the Furniture Makers Company doesn’t really cover it.

The judges commented that her ‘Guilloché’ Bedside Tables showed “Extremely accomplished cabinetmaking from a student of just two years. All elements of the design are beautifully resolved, and the oriental feel are unified with several subtle references.”

The drawer fronts were inspired by a Guilloché pattern from an Art Deco mirror. Guilloché is a decorative French technique in which a pattern is mechanically engraved via engine turning, commonly engraved in metal.These bedside tables explore the possibilities of transferring this technique into the realms of woodworking.

Crafted entirely in maple with ebonised maple legs, the Guilloché tables are a fantastic creative journey. The timber employed has been carefully selected to create a dramatic light contrast. The iridescence of the Guilloché together with the colour of the timber reminds us of the rising sun, framed by the dark silhouetted shape of bamboo scaffolding.

What is more exciting and impressive is that the ‘Guilloche’ Bedside Tables went on to be awarded Bespoke Guild Mark 476  by The Furniture Makers Company. This is a magnificent achievement for established fine furniture making workshops and is verging on the outrageous for a student. What an achievement that made all of us at the school so very proud.

This is how the selection panel describe her work:

The tables represent Fernanda’s first self-designed project – an endeavour that took six months to complete and over 100 hours of extremely detailed carving and sanding work.

The design draws inspiration from a once much used but now almost forgotten decorative technique for engraving metals, the Guilloché, which creates an illusion of movement on the tables. The effect of the Guilloché pattern is enhanced by the pale beauty of the maple, evoking the rising sun. It is framed by the dark silhouetted shape of the bamboo scaffolding, conceived to create contrast through its black stained legs and rails.

The tables were designed with functionality in mind, with the depth of each drawer serving different purposes. Each bedside table has a deep, general purpose dovetailed draw, and a secret, shallow drawer for smaller and valuable objects like wallets, phones, jewellery, diaries, letters.


Fernanda loves to design, and to make furniture and wooden objects that are different and unique, just like we are. Her furniture focuses on traditional craftsmanship often combining modern methods for striking visual effects. Each piece has a story to tell, a life of its own, and is made to accompany generations.

And here are a few of the other pieces designed and made by Fer during her time at the school



And in her own words…

“I am extremely lucky to have started my life as a cabinet maker under the guidance of Waters & Acland, a school that has such incredibly high standards and provides an enormous space for creativity. 


With them I learnt from the fundamentals of cabinet making, preparing drawings, selecting timber, marking, cutting, shaping (using hand tools, power tools and machines), traditional methods of cutting joints, marquetry and parquetry, an array of finishing methods, is but a very small part of all the experience. So beyond the technique, precision and discipline learnt, I have gained huge confidence in designing, visualizing and problem solving in a creative way. 


What else can I say? I went from having no experience at all to winning The Furniture Maker’s Company Design Award at Celebration of Craftsmanship 2019 and being awarded a Bespoke Guildmark. Choice is the most powerful tool we have and I am so pleased to have chosen Waters & Acland.”