Anselm Fraser, Chippendale school principal

Skill and inspiration

To be a successful woodworker you need to have skill in abundance, and that’s what we teach on our professional course at the Chippendale school.

We teach all the practical things about cutting and fashioning wood into beautiful furniture, and we teach all the skills that go along with that – from 3D design to timber identification.

By the end of their year with us, students should be masters of furniture design and making – with ancillary skills in, for example, carving and gilding.

But our task as a furniture school goes beyond that and, as we look forward to 2019, it’s an aspect of the course that takes on greater impetus.

Because our students are already starting to design and make their own furniture, and for that they need to find reserves of imagination and inspiration.

At the Chippendale school we believe that everyone is born with a creative streak.  However, the worlds of education and work often dull that creative instinct.

Our task is to reconnect students with that inner creativity, as it’s not only fundamental to furniture design, it is perhaps the most satisfying aspect of being a woodworker.

More than anything, when you put passion, hard work and inspiration together, the results can be amazing, and the process immensely and personally satisfying.

In a competitive world, what customers want, consciously or otherwise, is a woodworker who can add that extra dimension of design inspiration, and we want to give all our students the ability to impress their potential customers.

That’s why, after Christmas, our students will be concentrating on the signature pieces that they really want to make – and that means using their new design and making skills to unleash their creative talents.

Connecting skill and imagination is the synergy that makes a great woodworker, and that’s what we aim to achieve with all our students.

Picture: Anselm Fraser, school principal.

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