Favourite things: a wonderfully confused table

We’re showcasing some of the fantastic pieces of furniture that our students made this year, underlining how a nine-month professional course at the Chippendale school can launch you into a new career.

Most pieces of furniture have one obvious and entirely functional purpose to perform, so it’s always good to see a piece of furniture that doesn’t quite know what it is.

Because if you fold up Roderick Groenewegen’s games table, made from mahogany with alder and American walnut veneers, it’s a stylish and beautiful console table with a starbust central design.

But open it out and you have a games table complete with inlaid chess and backgammon boards, and with two recessed compartments for games pieces.

Roderick, from Amerongen in the Netherlands, came to the school following a 30-year career with a major Dutch banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam.

Unlike many of our students, he was already a skilled woodworker who had been on several woodworking courses, and worked on commissions for a number of clients.

For example, he created a showcase, commissioned by the 17th century Castle of Amerongen, for the exhibition of a 300-year-old death mask that is part of the castle’s collection.

The pieces he made at the school have been equally impressive, including a small oak and American walnut cabinet to store a family dining service.

Roderick is setting up his own business in Amerongen, called ‘De Houtheer’.

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