Ashley Petersen in the Chippendale School workshop.
A blog by Chippendale student Ashley Petersen who loves working with wood.
Ashley was employed by an advertising agency in New York, but always had a passion for furniture making and knew she had to make it a part of her life.
“I started working with an antique furniture restorer in Queens in the evenings after work and completed a short woodworking class in Brooklyn. I learned how to French polish, replace missing veneer and how to repair gilding and loved every minute of it!
“I also spent time working at a vintage furniture shop in Manhattan refinishing or adding a ‘shabby-chic’ flair to various pieces.”
Ashley had considered furniture schools in the US, but found they were too expensive and meant taking 4 years out of the workforce. The intensive Chippendale School course only lasted 9 months and also offered the antique restoration course she was looking for.
“I was encouraged by the small class size which ensured more individual attention, and the amount of hands-on experience the program provided. I really liked that the students were of all ages and nationalities. This furniture course also provided an opportunity for a great adventure!
This blog is written by Ewan Ogilvie, a recent graduate from the cabinet making course at the Chippendale International School of Furniture near Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. He was delighted to receive an invitation from the school principal, Anselm Fraser, to join a small party heading out to Switzerland to help restore an abandoned log chalet.
On arrival at 1100m above sea level at the village of Val D’Illiez,our enthusiasm was whetted by the sight of two tonnes of planked timber which was to be used to transform the interior of the chalet. This enthusiasm was dampened slightly when we learned that the only access to the chalet was on a path up a steep slope, under a waterfall and along a narrow ledge. Every tool we were to use and all materials would have to be strapped to our backs and hauled up there. We were assured that the cunning omission of this information prior to our departure had been purely accidental.
However, our first sight of the chalet changed everything; the building was absolutely stunning, and in an idyllic setting with a view down the valley to one side and to a waterfall on the other. We couldn’t wait to get started.
The versatile library chair cum ladder created by Liz Jackson.
A blog by Chippendale School graduate and former teacher, Liz Jackson, on the joys of learning by doing and from your colleagues (collaborative learning). Liz now has her own furniture making business within the Chippendale Incubator workshops.
“Having recently graduated from the 2011-12 Chippendale cabinet making course, I have spent some time reflecting on what made it such an enjoyable and effective learning experience.
“As with most things in life, it comes down to the people involved and how we all worked together. Which in turn is a result of the student recruitment process and the learning approaches within the woodworking school itself.
We’d like to share a charming thank you email from a visitor from the American Midwest who came to the Chippendale International School of Furniture this summer to learn how to make a display cabinet to house his antique musket. Chad, we look forward to welcoming you back next year!
“You don’t know this but I had looked for a woodworking school for about 8 years. I chose the right one when I picked the Chippendale School of Furniture.
“I still remember and relish the smell of sawdust when entering your shop. The muted colors, the quiet sounds of workmanship taking place, and the most singular focus where nothing matters but the wood, my vision and me.
“Your woodworking teaching technique was so efficient with emphasis on getting results without loss of quality that I feel it has advanced my capabilities considerably. Indeed, it is reminiscent of my business ventures where I have always promoted the idea ‘Quality Costs When You Don’t Have It.’ Continue reading →