A blog by Chippendale School student Ashley Petersen who loves working with wood.
Ashley was employed by an advertising agency in New York, but always had a passion for furniture and knew she had to make it a part of her life.
“I started working with an antique furniture restorer in Queens in the evenings after work and completed a short woodworking class in Brooklyn. I learned how to French polish, replace missing veneer and how to repair gilding and loved every minute of it!
“I also spent time working at a vintage furniture shop in Manhattan refinishing or adding a ‘shabby-chic’ flair to various pieces.”
Ashley had considered furniture design schools in the US, but found they were too expensive and meant taking 4 years out of the workforce. The intensive Chippendale School course only lasted 9 months and also offered the antique restoration course she was looking for.
“I was encouraged by the small class size which ensured more individual attention, and the amount of hands-on experience the program provided. I really liked that the students were of all ages and nationalities. This furniture course also provided an opportunity for a great adventure!
“I’d lived in Paris and London, and absolutely loved the experience, but had never been to Scotland before moving here a few weeks ago. I’m sharing a rented cottage with another student, Ali Wilson, in Gifford, the local village, which is lovely.
“My first solid piece of furniture is a drinks cabinet over two levels. The cabinet has curved wooden rails inspired by Art Nouveau (1890-1920). It’s mostly made using olive ash with elm for the rails and strengthening details.
“When I graduate I plan to move back home to LA. I’ll work for some independent furniture makers and restorers to get more experience before setting up my own antique restoration and bespoke furniture making business.”