Making retro music a thing of beauty

A talented young woodworker from West Lothian has taken his love of vinyl records to a new level – by turning a humble record player into a work of art.

Alan Nisbet from Broxburn has just graduated with distinction from the Chippendale International School of Furniture, where his “Vorticular vinyl cabinet,” made from solid ash and oak, was singled out for particular praise.

The Chippendale school in East Lothian takes students from around the world for its immersive furniture design courses.  This year, students came from the UK, USA, Germany, Austria, Poland, India, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.

Alan came to the school having worked for his family business, creating and installing residential furnishing packages for local councils and housing associations.

His decision to move from the relative security of the family business was based on a desire to explore his natural creativity to make fine furniture.

His retro-style cabinet features a rotating fan door and integrated turntable, turning a functional box of electronics into a beautiful piece of furniture.

“I love vinyl, and it’s fashionable and in demand at the moment, and I couldn’t resist designing something that balanced form and function – something that works perfectly but is also amazing to look at,” he said.

Another signature piece was his “Deskometry” writing bureau veneered with walnut and oak, with beautifully-designed twisted oak legs and drawers.

However, in another twist to convention, Alan also crafted the body of the bureau with flowing curved lines, giving the piece both a striking and contemporary appearance.

Alan is setting up Alan Nisbet Furniture from workshops on the outskirts of Edinburgh, to design and make fine furniture, kitchens, and furniture restoration.

“Alan has been an exemplary student with a very real talent and aptitude for woodworking.  His pieces have taken the traditional and given them a new perspective,” said Anselm Fraser, principal of the Chippendale school.  “His vinyl record player is quite simply a work of art.”

“His designs incorporate hugely well-made functionality, but are coupled with design flair and a real understanding of the properties of the wood, its limitations and all its beautiful potentials,” he said.

Alan said: “I have always had a passion for design in all forms. I love working with wood, the challenge of creating innovative and attractive solutions to design problems and the incredible satisfaction of turning an idea nto a three dimensional piece of furniture.”

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