A Strathclyde police officer’s first impressions as a Chippendale Furniture student

Sean works on his grandfather clock at the Chippendale School of furniture

A blog by Sean McManus, furniture design student

Rapidly approaching the mid point of my course at the Chippendale School of Furniture I find myself reflecting on what has gone and, with some trepidation, to what has yet to come. To use the old cliché, it does seem like only yesterday I visited the school for the first time and was taken aback by the results achieved by the previous year’s students. Their furniture designs were on display for all to see in the great hall, open to criticism from anyone with an opinion, and the acid test awaits… ‘will it sell!’

With a head full of 1001 thoughts, I signed up and turned up first in the car park that Monday morning having driven the 54 miles to the School from home. By the end of the first week I realised the daily commute of 108 miles, which was taking over 2 hours, was not going to work. Isobel to the rescue! I, along with another student (Quentin), was to move in with a second student (Lee) and her partner from Monday to Friday, saving the 2 plus hours of daily travelling and allowing me to work on late most evenings.

Having come from a traditional background of a 4 year apprenticeship, where learning came through repetition, the learning environment at the School is quite different. You are given your head, encouraged to try new things, often resulting in learning through making mistakes. A great deal of discussion takes place between students and staff as well as between students themselves, igniting the thought process from which new ideas evolve into realisation (thanks for the tambal idea, Quentin!).

This course is in my opinion geared towards those who intend starting in business on completion, which is my intention. The basics of costing a job, and lists of suppliers for all things required to start and run a business is a godsend, without which much time would be spent attending business start up courses.

Giving more thought to what I said at the start I have changed my mind; I am now looking to what is still to come, not with trepidation, but with anticipation. Bring on the second half!

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