We’re often asked how we can turn novices into professional woodworkers in only 30 weeks.

The answer is that we have the very best teaching methods and staff.

Our professional course has been running for well over thirty years.

So, we have learned what works to ensure that our graduates have all the skills they need.

Compare that to a four-year university course, with all the student debt that involves.

One successful student, who demonstrated talent in spades, was Gordon Young from Edinburgh.

Gordon began on the ‘conventional’ route, earning a Masters degree in civil engineering from Heriot-Watt University.

Design

It’s a qualification that has some relevance to fine furniture making because it does involve an understanding of how to design things.

Gordon Young Chippendale furniture school

Other students often don’t have design skills when they come to us, which is why it’s the first thing we teach our students.

After all, if you can’t visualise a design in 3D you can’t easily make fine furniture.

Not only that, but we also bring in Isa Dorster who teaches at the lycée des métiers d’art georges guynemer near Montpellier.

She is a renowned expert in the subtle art of teaching 3D visualisation.  Isa augments our own tutors who can also teach computer aided design.

Gordon therefore had a head start on some of our students, design-wise.  But he’s also someone who has always been a natural at making things.

He proved that with his beautiful and functional desk in Oak and flamed Beech.

Gordon Young desk Chippendale school

It was sinuous and tactile but, a cardinal element for every piece of furniture, utterly practical.

Its design was made special by Gordon fashioning the two contrasting woods to converge on the top.

He joined them together with a seam of macassar ebony veneer, with the seam then falling down the side of the desk.

Gilding

Gordon also demonstrated a real talent for gilding on the course, particularly his parquetry chess board framed in oak.

Gordon gilded his chess board frame with copper, then treated it with alcohol to create an aged effect.

This was then sprayed with copper nitrate acid to turn Verdigris, which describes the resulting green pigment.

Gordon is setting up Twin Tree Design, and intends to pursue a career in general bespoke fine furniture.

We’re delighted that he has chosen to stay on at the Chippendale school and work from our on-campus incubation space, Myreside Studios.

This allows our professional course graduates to immediately get started in their new careers.  Importantly, they still have access to the school’s equipment, machinery and tutor support.