Clare Charleston restoration Chippendale school

The past, present

While this week has all been about learning the delicate skills involved in making a Windsor chair, our restoration business has also been busy.

It’s a side of the Chippendale school that’s very important because it allows us to maintain a core of expertise within the school, and gives students hands-on experience in learning different aspects of restoration.

It’s a unique proposition from our school, because many students want to specialise in furniture restoration when they leave us – and being able to see, and learn from, skilled restoration experts is important.

That’s why we have Clare Charleston, who has over 20 years of restoration experience, as both our in-house restoration expert and professional course tutor.

Her duel role is made possible by the school attracting restoration customers from across Scotland and the north of England.

It allows our students to see how different kinds of furniture can be restored, using real pieces of furniture in a commercial environment.

Restoration is also about exploring the past; seeing how furniture design and materials have changed, and giving a fresh window of understanding into the evolution of furniture design.

Many students want to specialise in restoration for not just commercial reasons.

They believe, like us, that old furniture – irrespective of its monetary value – deserves to be preserved.

In a throw-away society, with all its environmental impacts, making good use of what we have should be an important consideration.

Picture: Clare Charleston repairing veneer on a rosewood table.

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