We all have dreams, and we think that everyone should pursue them.

For some, that dream is to be a fine furniture designer.

It offers a wonderful and fulfilling career, working for yourself, and doing something creative and practical.

But a lot of people think that they simply won’t be able to successfully complete the course.

They worry that they’re not creative enough.  Or that they’ve never picked up a chisel.

At the Chippendale school, we understand those worries.  That’s why our professional course is designed for absolute novices.

And it doesn’t matter whether those novices are school leavers or the recently retired.

Paul Hartman Sam Maloof inspired chair

Our job is to make sure that all our students fulfil their dream of working successfully with wood.

During the 30 weeks you’ll learn everything you will ever need to make beautiful and wonderful furniture.

If you’re sceptical, take a look at this video of this year’s graduate exhibition in Edinburgh.

As always, our students made an eclectic mix of the functional and quirky.  And that’s what we encourage.

Fine furniture design works best when students express their own personalities in the pieces they make.

Design skills

Our starting point at the Chippendale school is to recognise that not everyone will have even basic design skills.

That’s why, at the very start of the course, we bring in a renowned expect – Isa Dorster from the lycée des métiers d’art near Montpellier.

She teaches our students how to visualise their creative ideas and express them in 3D drawings on paper.

From there, students create scale models of what they want to make, while others can learn how to use modelling software such as Fusion 360.

Andrew Cockerill Chippendale school pf furniture

In other words, the Chippendale school makes sure that everyone gets over that first design hurdle.

The next steps are to make sure that every student acquires the full range of skills they’ll need to work as successful woodworkers.

On top of our full-time teaching staff, we also bring in other renowned specialists from different parts of the world.

The reason we do this is that 30 weeks isn’t a long time.  We therefore need the best teachers to get the best from our students.

But our course is more than woodworking.  You’ll also learn the basics of business planning, website design and marketing.

Because every self-employed furniture designer needs those skills.

We also make it easy for graduates to move into self-employment, because we offer graduates space in our incubation workshops known as Myreside Studios.

Myreside studios at Chippendale school

Those on-campus spaces allow graduates to immediately set up in business, without the expense of buying or renting premises and buying machinery.

Not only that but graduates can still rely on help and advice from our tutors.

30 years

Our professional course therefore adds up to a complete package that is built around the needs of every student.

It therefore doesn’t matter if you come to us with basic skills or with no skills.

That holistic approach has been honed over more than 30 years of teaching fine woodworking.

So, if learning furniture design and making is your dream, it’s time to do something about it.

Because a couple of places still remain on our professional course that starts in October.

But hurry, because when those places are gone, they’re gone.