Our professional course Student of the Year is Christian Burt, from Portland, Oregon.

He initially studied photography, then worked on an organic farm growing a variety of soft fruits, before deciding to train for a more hands-on career.

Christian came to the school with no experience in working with wood, but quickly showed innate design and making skills.

He also proved to be a designer much influenced by far-flung woodworking philosophies.

His signature piece was a Japanese tea cabinet which showcased his clear understanding of the intricacies and practicalities of design.

Made in Sycamore and Beech, it has a kumiko limewood front panel.

That’s the delicate and ancient Japanese art of assembling pieces of wood without using nails.

Christian’s specific design, asanoha, is a particularly popular motif still used in architecture, fashion and graphic design.

The asanoha pattern, based on regular hexagons or an aggregate of triangles, is widely used on kimono and baby clothes.  It’s also believed to give health and long life.

Christian is now returning to Portland to set up Christian Taylor Fine Woodcraft.