Students at the Chippendale school are required to make a number of pieces during the year, but our ethos is to allow students the freedom to create what they particularly want to make.
It’s a freedom that gives students a chance to make practical pieces for their own homes, or as gifts to close family or friends.
It means that they can apply their skills and creativity to making things that have a strong connection with them personally.
Reflecting that ethos, Darren Christie from the Falkland Islands has chosen to make a beautiful elm and fumed oak jewellery box for his wife, complete with brass hanging pegs for necklaces, and drawers for other items
The box also has a hand-gilded mirror and is decorated with hand-carved Celtic knots, an intricate pattern of loops that have no start or finish and which represent friendship and love. Darren also tied the leather drawer pulls into Celtic knots to match the carvings.
Adding significantly to the box’s complexity, its four sides are made from a single piece of elm that was carefully mitred so that the grain of wood flows organically around the box.
A qualified zoologist, Darren most recently worked for the Falkland Islands government, and will be returning to the Falkland Islands to set up Desire Cabinetry in the islands’ capital, Port Stanley.
Earlier in the school year, Darren won our first-ever bedside cabinet award, a first-term project that gives students an introduction to different woodworking skills while working on a modestly-sized piece of furniture.
Like his jewellery box, his stylish oak and satinwood bedside cabinet is destined for Darren’s home in the South Atlantic.