Learning to be a professional furniture designer and maker involves the acquisition of many skills, as well as the confidence to dream the impossible and make it happen.

It’s a challenge for our students because our nine-month professional course is much shorter than many other competitor courses, so it’s therefore a learning process with a packed curriculum and a high level of intensity.

We believe that’s a good approach as it allows our students to set up in business much earlier than they would from other schools, and therefore start earning money much quicker.

With the end of the first term in sight, our students have already learned how to visualise in 3D – an essential skill in now designing their first projects – and completed their bedside cabinet project.

This project teaches students a range of basic skills including turning handles, French polishing, spray lacquering, and how to fix wood using loose tongue, tongue and groove, dovetail and domino fixings…among many other things.

The Chippendale professional course has been honed by over 30 years of teaching experience and is designed to give students not only the skill-set they require, but the confidence to start designing and making their own pieces of furniture.

Every week is therefore an opportunity to learn something new and this week it’s brick building – fashioning 32 pieces of pine into four layers to create a hollow wooden structure.

It’s a two-day exercise designed to fire imagination, because if you can fashion the basic design we’ve given them, you can then create any shape or any curve.

Once their four layers of pine have been fixed using white glue, their pieces are externally cut using a bandsaw to create the circle, with the interior fashioned by a bobbin sander.

It’s a small step on their journey, new skills learned…and a project that everyone has thoroughly enjoyed.