Each year, our students vote for this award, and this year it goes to Gianluca Caregnato, from near Milan in northern Italy.

Gianluca first came to the Chippendale school last April on one of our introductory courses, having originally studied agriculture at technical school in Italy.

Gianluca has proved an outstanding student, winning a school prize for his first-term project, a pine bedside cabinet, veneered with rosewood.

Another outstanding piece was an ash rocking chair that, initially, didn’t quite rock as expected, and which needed a bit of Italian design flair – adding another section into the base of the chair to give it more weight and balance.

Gianluca’s signature piece was an art nouveau-inspired desk in oak with walnut veneer.  The main part of the desk required 54 intricately-formed pieces of veneer.

However, the main design challenge was, at the corners of the desk, to find a way of joining three angles of wood together.  Each joint had to offer a precise angle for each piece of wood, and the joints had to be absolutely robust.

It was a challenge that Gianluca had to experiment with to reach a design solution, and then a precision task to ensure each three-way joint was strong enough.

Gianluca is now returning to Italy to pursue a career in fine woodworking, and you can read more about him here