A furniture designer from the west of Scotland has won a top award from the Chippendale International School of Furniture. The Chippendale School is regarded as one of Europe’s premier furniture design schools and runs intensive furniture design courses and furniture restoration courses.

Ali Wilson, who was brought up in East Anglia, studied architecture in Plymouth and now lives in Ayrshire, won Design Student of the Year for a stunning drinks cabinet in the shape of a fish.

Ali said that she was “delighted with the award.  I have loved the course and learned such a lot.”  Her “big fish” will be displayed at a number of venues over the summer.

The awards ceremony was presided over by arts impresario Professor Richard Demarco, who said that the Chippendale School was an “inspirational place and a teaching resource of national importance.”

The long-established school, which is in East Lothian just outside Edinburgh, takes students of all ages from around the world.  This year’s intake included students from the USA and Canada – as well as across the UK.

You can see a selection of the amazing pieces of furniture designed and hand-crafted by the students in the Student Gallery.

There are still places remaining for this year’s 30-week intensive course which begins in October, with graduating students able to take incubation space at the school to establish new businesses.

Gary Staple's tea cabinet with marquetry inlays

Gary Staple’s tea cabinet with marquetry inlays

Canadian student Gary Staple from Halifax, Nova Scotia won Student of the Year for his portfolio of work, which included a tea cabinet with intricate inlays, and which will go on show in Canada over the summer.

Chippendale School Graduates Work 2014

Gary Staple with his guitar

Gary, who trained as a carpenter and who now also runs his own Halifax business, Gary Staple Fine Woodworking, said that “the Chippendale course has been hugely useful and taught me a great deal, as well as giving me a European perspective on furniture design.”

Anselm Fraser, the school’s principal, said that “our students, many of whom have never worked with wood before, leave the school with skills they can use for the rest of their lives.”