A young Australian furniture designer who graduated from the Chippendale school professional course in June has been shortlisted for two awards in the prestigious Young Furniture Makers Awards.

Alex Stanton has been shortlisted, first, for his Shou Sugi Ban hall table in Ash (Design Award).

The second shortlisting was for his sideboard in Rosewood and Walnut veneers (Bespoke Award).

Organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, Alex’s pieces will be exhibited at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition in October in the City of London.

Creative designers

The event showcases the very best furniture and furnishing design talent.  It offers the industry the opportunity to connect with young, creative designers.

The Young Furniture Makers Awards are the student equivalent of the Company’s Guild Marks.  They recognise excellence in the fields of bespoke, design and innovation.

24-year-old Alex, from Brisbane, is currently launching his business in the UK called Alexander Stanton Fine Furniture & Design.

He personifies the fact that you don’t have to have woodworking experience to come to the Chippendale school.

Alex Stanton console table Chippendale school

Many of our students come to us as novices, having never worked with wood before.

That’s not a problem because our 30-week professional course is designed to instil in everyone the confidence and skills to practice as a fine furniture maker.

It’s a course that has been fine-tuned over thirty years.  It has also seen the Chippendale school become one of the most prestigious furniture schools in the world.

Alex did have the advantage of having had three years of experience fitting timber floors and staircases.

Visit Scotland

He’s also had a long interest in designing furniture and had made simple pieces such as tables.

Before making a final decision to come to the Chippendale school, Alex came to visit a few months before the first term began.

We always welcome visitors and are delighted to show people around our workshops.

That also includes the merely curious because the school is a 3* visitor attraction with Visit Scotland.

If you’d like to visit, you can arrange a visit here, or simply contact us here.

Alex Stanton console table drawing

His first project was his shortlisted hallway table and, pictured above, is Alex’s design – which he then made as a scale model.

Design skill is the first thing that we teach our professional course students.  Simply, if you can’t visualise your designs, you will struggle to make anything.

But learning that skill is made easy at the school.  We have expert tutors and we bring in a renowned expert from France.

Console table

Alex’s finished Ash console table had beautiful decorative flourishes.  For its legs, Alex moulded laminated supports that were a design echo of Gothic cathedral architecture.

He also incorporated African Ebony veneers into the leg supports, and carried that colour contrast through to the Douglas fir drawer fronts.

He used a burning technique, called Shou Sugi Ban, which originated in 18th century Japan.

Alex Stanton cabinet Chippendale school

It was initially used to preserve wood.  Now, it’s more commonly used to bring different colours and textures into a piece of furniture.

Alex also made a small and delicate display cabinet in Oak and spalted Beech and a steam-bent coffee table in Olive Ash and spalted Beech.

His last piece, for which he has been shortlisted, was a fluted sideboard, pictured above, in rippled Rosewood with Walnut veneers.

Alex proved himself a gifted woodworker over his year with us.  We’re delighted that he has been recognised so early in his career.