Vanessa Johnston from Seattle has been awarded a prize from the Chippendale Society, to mark the 300th birthday of Thomas Chippendale.

Vanessa was awarded the prize at a graduation exhibition in Edinburgh by Dr Adam Bowett, chairman of the Chippendale Society, who said that he was amazed by the standard of craftsmanship on display from all the students.

The prize was awarded to Vanessa for her outstanding craftsmanship, beautiful design and the coherence of her wych elm and olive ash furniture collection, which includes a table, bedside tables, chair, and an intricate clock.

Before coming to the Chippendale school, Vanessa was a marketing director and graphic designer, and did have some woodworking skills having previously lived on a houseboat which she renovated herself, building cabinets, and even adding a 2nd storey to her boat.

Dr Bowett is an independent furniture historian who works as a consultant on historic English furniture with public institutions, including the National Trust, English Heritage and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and with private clients in both Britain and North America.

Vanessa is setting up her own company, Vanessa Johnston Woodworking, and plans to stay on in incubation space at the school after graduation.