Eion Gibbs from the Scottish Highlands was the first student to enrol on our intermediate course last year, while he recuperated from pneumonia.

He loved the month-long course so much that he enrolled on the current professional course.

He’s now working on his first major project, a quaint and fanciful cupboard with no less than 24 compartments, and all made from oak, spalted beech and ash.

It’s a complex piece that will have three horizontal sections, and which are interchangeable, making his cupboard extremely flexible for changing storage needs.  When complete it will stand approximately five feet tall.

He’s calling it his higgdledy-piggledy cupboard because the compartments are of different sizes, and the front will be made in a harlequin triangle pattern, fashioned from ash and oak.

It’s an ambitious project, but Eion is proving an extremely gifted woodworker, and his month with us last year had already taught him the rudiments of woodworking.

It’s a cupboard that could be used to tidy away a child’s toys, but the beauty and complexity of its means it could find many other uses.

Eion initially came to us from working as a film cameraman in Tanzania, where he’d been filming with the charitable Kilimanjaro Project and Trees 4 Kilimanjaro, which are highlighting the enormous environmental damage that is being done to Africa’s largest mountain and the surrounding area.

Since Eion attended our intermediate course we are delighted to have had many other students – including ones from Trinidad & Tobago, Brazil and Germany, which shows that the Chippendale school is an international learning destination.

PS:  ‘Higgledy-piggledy’ is an example of a metrical form called a ‘double dactyl’ – a three-syllable word with the stress on the first syllable – and seems to have been first used in an English/Italian dictionary in 1598.