“Anselm & his team have created a very effective accelerated learning course that provides a solid grounding in woodwork, design, restoration and business development, as well as taster experiences in arts and crafts. … The School is far from conventional and that is the key to its success.”

Ewan Ogilvie

Would you like to be a future furniture designer, professional woodworker or furniture making entrepreneur?

We’ve taken a good look at what’s out there and we genuinely don’t think that you’ll find a furniture school that can compete with the Chippendale School. That’s not just us boasting because we always ask for regular student feedback. Our students believe that our course is different and better than other furniture courses because we offer an intensive course that encourages personal creativity (we assist you to make what you want to make) and, in addition, we have experts on hand to teach you how to establish and market your business – and these experts continue to be available to you once your course is over.

  • We teach you Furniture Design, Making and Restoration with up to 80 woodworking techniques in just 9 months.  Few other schools teach all three disciplines in such depth – and their courses take two to three years, meaning more time out of work and less time earning!
  • We lay on lectures to cover every aspect of furniture making with visiting experts in key areas (some from overseas); we encourage creative and collaborative learning with your colleagues; we organise informative and enjoyable field trips; we allow for up to 1400 hours of practical benchwork on your own projects; and we provide a marketing and public relations expert to assist you in forming the marketing side of your business and who remains available to you through the start-up of your business and, should you wish, for longer.
  • We have office and welfare staff who are here specifically to help you with all matters such as accommodation, transport, health and well-being.
  • We are an organisation registered and approved by the Department of Employment for UK-related Career and Development Loans.

Lots of workshop space

  • Everyone works together and learns from each other in one big 5,500 sq ft studio workshop (you’re not split up into small workshops). Each student is allocated two work benches – each supplied with a full set of tools and a flat worktop space to enable you to work with your pieces and think clearly.  Workbenches are set at different heights to accommodate all sizes of folk – and to prevent backache!
  • The whole campus extends to about 16,000 square feet.  The open-plan workshops create a happy atmosphere in which you have immediate access to tutorial assistance and in which you can help and inspire each other and share banter with your colleagues. There are five separate machine rooms to help reduce noise and dust levels in the main workshops.
  • We even have our own showroom for exhibiting our students’ furniture and where we host, annually, our graduation ceremony and open evenings. With a huge walk-in fireplace for chilling out, this hall doubles as our party room where Christmas lunch is enjoyed by all the students and staff at the school.
  • Because we are a not-for-profit organisation we are continually re-investing in our buildings and facilities.  Every year, after listening to our students, we make any necessary improvements.

A buzzing woodworking community

  • We have a community of 40 woodworkers (24 are students), so you’ll see and learn from at least 120 beautiful new pieces of furniture while you are here.
  • You’ll get ideas and inspiration from the variety of what you see and all the opportunities to share and collaborate with colleagues. Small schools with only 7 or 8 students cannot provide this advantage. We know; we’ve tried both approaches and a larger group of 24 students works best!
  • As an INTERNATIONAL School of Furniture, you learn alongside students from all over the world which means that you are inspired by ideas and designs from Mexico, Japan, America, Europe… See our student gallery.

A real-world woodworking environment

  • Our workshop is a real-world working environment. We help and encourage you to try out new woodworking techniques and tools for yourself so that you really learn while you’re here.
  • We don’t do everything for you so that, by putting advice into practice, you will absorb and remember everything you experience.  However, don’t worry, our excellent tutors are always spread around the workshop to provide every kind of support whenever you need it.

Celebrate design and creativity

  • Too many schools focus on perfectionism; we embrace the personality and individuality that minor quirk adds to your piece!  Rather than trying to glue together the cracks in a piece of wood, we think of ways to thank nature for these unique characteristics by, for example, laying brass or other materials into them.  We love DESIGN and CREATIVITY – and we do everything we can to help you with yours!

Genuine value for money

    • We believe that our intensive nine-month furniture course is better value than other two or three year courses because you are away from work for far less time and can set up your business so much more quickly.
    • A three year course could lose you earnings of over £75,000 (assuming earnings of £25,000 per year).
    • We provide you with all the tools you will need during the course – planes, safety gear, routers, chisels, hammers – giving you the chance to work out which ones suit you best before you buy.
    • Your fees cover the cost of all the wood required to make three pieces of furniture, sourced and dried here from local Scottish hardwoods.

The only items you are required to purchase are a properly fitted dust-mask and a set of carving chisels.  The school can assist with this by buying these items in bulk for all of the students on each year’s course.

A strong business and career focus

  • Our course has a business and career focus, geared to helping many of our students realise their dream of setting up their own woodworking and furniture making businesses – which a majority of our students do.
  • After the course, graduates can rent low-cost bench space in the adjoining Chippendale Incubator Workshops from where they can continue to benefit from our tutors, tools, woodworking community, contacts and encouragement.
  • The real woodworking businesses operating out of the Chippendale Incubation Workshops mean you can see and learn from how they work, how they make a living and how they allocate their time.  Courses which are only educational cannot pass on these valuable real work experiences and lessons.

Friendly and helpful staff

  • We pride ourselves on taking the social welfare of our students very seriously.  We have a student welfare officer specifically to assist students with matters such as finding suitable accommodation, doctors and dentists to helping them with the purchase of a car for the duration of their studies.
  • We also have a small team of office staff who are happy to help with any needs such as assistance with writing or spelling.
  • All round, our staff are focused on making sure that we do everthing we can to ensure that our students are enabled to get everything they can from their course at the Chippendale school.

And, we’re located in Scotland, Europe’s most beautiful country!

  • The Chippendale furniture school is set in rolling East Lothian countryside, just half an hour from the beautiful and cultural city of Edinburgh.
  • Scotland’s capital city, ‘The Festival City’ of Edinburgh, is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations with a world famous skyline, numerous museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls, enticing bars and more than 500 restaurants – and, of course, the world-famous Edinburgh Castle overlooking the beautiful Princes Street Gardens and the bustling length of busy shops on Princes Street.
  • The school is also based just north of the gentle but stunning Scottish Borders countryside and close to beautiful hills for walking and  hiking, miles of sweeping sandy beaches (some a little hard to find), many beautiful National Trust and privately owned gardens, more than twenty golf courses and lots of other sporting facilities including good swimming pools, football, rugby, tennis and sailing.

We’re serious about furniture design but our students have a lot of fun too. See what they have to say in their feedback and in our videos.

Change Your Lifeclick for the Chippendale prospectus