Christian Burt from Portland, Oregon worked for three years on an organic farm growing a variety of soft fruits including pears, apples, plums and strawberries.
Prior to that he studied photography, but really saw it as a hobby. Along with the reality of having to make money from his art came the realisation that photography as a career wasn’t for him.
Christian has always liked to work with his hands, although he comes to the school with no formal training or experience in woodworking.
He hopes to return to Oregon after graduation and pursue a new career in furniture restoration and design.
Right now, his first project is to make a Japanese tea cabinet, and is also busy learning the ancient Japanese craft of kumiko, a decorative technique in which precisely-cut pieces of wood are joined together without glue or other fixings.
This technique, which dates back to at least the 7th century, is also used to create intricate, wooden, functional artwork as can be found, for example, on traditional Japanese sliding doors.
It’s a bold and imaginative first step for Christian, and we wish him every success.