There are some people who just know that a professional woodworking course is absolutely what they want to do.

Others, however, are not so sure.

It may be that they’ve had no prior woodworking experience or lack design skills.

But not to worry, because the Chippendale school doesn’t require experience or skill.  All we look for is a desire to learn those skills, which everyone does.

For those still undecided, one option is to enrol on one of our one-week introductory courses.

Ross Cunnison console table

These are designed to give students a taste of woodworking.  Therefore, to give the undecided a chance to make that decision.

It’s why, if an introductory course student does then enrol on our professional course, the introductory course fees are deducted in full.

That’s the route that Ross Cunnison from Edinburgh took.

Geophysics

He had previously worked offshore for ten years in the oil and gas sector.  He also studied geophysics at the University of Edinburgh.

His decision to enrol on our professional course was made having enjoyed one of our introductory courses last year.

Ross’ decision turned out to be a good one because he proved to be a skilled woodworker and won our Best Design Award.

It’s an annual award that we give to the student who, in our opinion, shows real design talent.

Ross Cunnison Shaker bench Chippendale

What we liked about Ross’ furniture was its simple honesty, yet with well-crafted flourishes that made the ordinary sublime.

That was particularly true of his Olive Ash side cabinet or credenza, with two beautifully-dovetailed drawers and two cupboards.

Imagination

Its creativity lay in a waterfall edge, with the grain of the wood perfectly falling from the cabinet’s top and down its sides.

That honest approach to furniture design is something that all good woodworkers have to master.

Because good design is about making utterly functional furniture, but with a little imagination thrown in.

Good design is therefore about subtlety, and instinctively understanding the interplay between form and function.

It’s an instinct that Ross demonstrated, and we’re delighted that he’s now setting up his own furniture making business, Ross Cunnison Bespoke Furniture.