Vanessa Johnston from Seattle is our first 2018 graduate to join the Fine Furniture Guild.

The Guild is unique to the Chippendale school, providing the school’s endorsement of our graduates’ skill and talents.

It’s also a searchable platform, so that potential customers anywhere in the world can look for a woodworker near to them – knowing that every Guild member is a fully-trained designer and maker.

Vanessa also won the honour of being awarded the Chippendale Society Award, given this year to mark the 300th birthday of the great cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale.

Vanessa was awarded the prize by Dr Adam Bowett, chairman of the Chippendale Society, for the quality of her craftsmanship and 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.

Vanessa is staying on in Scotland to set up her own company, Vanessa Johnston Woodworking, from new business incubation space at the school.