This weeks student trip was a little trip down memory lane. A trip to see some old friends. Well actually a couple of Waters and Acland pieces of furniture. I felt it would be nice for our students to see some pieces that were made by our head tutor Graham. The pieces are by no means extravagant. The opposite in fact. They are classic examples of solid wood precision cabinet making. I wanted the students to get a feel for what exacting standards really are and the AW chest certainly illustrates this. I remember when Graham had completed the piece back in 2011, he expressed how pleased he was with the drawer fit. These were big, wide and deep drawers so they were certainly a challenge. Four years on however, and I am pleased to say that every drawer still runs beautifully. Truly piston fit with just the perfect level of air resistance when closed. Just perfect and I hope inspiring for our students.
The second piece we visited was the Tetbury Dresser. Again a beautiful piece of classic cabinet making. Solid wood furniture making at it’s best and again a great opportunity for our students to get close and personal with a piece made by their mentor Graham. Our client trusts us to take care with the pieces and so they were happy for the students to really inspect the finer details of the construction, and it is the construction methods that we focussed upon. Why and how was the piece made? How did we allow for wood movement? How were the finer details of the design realised? These are questions that our students need to get to grips with early on in their course. It’s all well and good being able to cut great dovetails but for many the dream is about making and also DESIGNING fine furniture. The sooner our students can identify methods of construction. Understand the why? The sooner their minds will be free to experiment with designs. To come up with their own solutions and to start the journey as aspiring ‘furniture designer makers’. As Graham always says “there’s always more than one way to skin a cat”.