Each year our professional course students exhibit their pieces at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh.

It’s a beautiful and historic church, consecrated on the same day the Mayflower landed in America.

We invite members of the public to vote for the student whose work most appeals to them.

This year, the Public’s Choice Award went to Paul Hartman from Alberta, Canada.

His stand-out piece was a rocking chair inspired by the great Sam Maloof.  His rockers are in national collections and have been owned by US presidents.

Paul originally studied Divinity at a Canadian seminary.

His love for woodworking stems from his time at High School.  He built his first solid oak desk in the school’s workshop.

What was great about his rocking chair was how Paul ‘wove’ the seat back into a complex and sinuous pattern.

However, like any good rocker, it retained its simple honesty.  That quality shines through in other pieces that Paul completed during his year with us.

Those include an elm coffee table decorated with a compass rose, and a yew hall table, with a frame of rippled sycamore.

Paul now intends to return to Alberta and set up his own furniture design business, Dry Tree Construction.