Tom Smyth cabinet Chippendale school

Standing for prayers

Tom Smyth is a professional course student who finds inspiration in unusual places.

His last project was a majestic and monumental steam-bent oak garden bench.

It was inspired by work he carried out on the roof of a listed 400-year-old timber framed barn in Hampshire.

Tom, originally from Bristol, has now completed a beautiful plant stand cabinet made from lustrous lime.

It might at first seem to be simply an elegant and functional piece.

But look closely at the top of the cabinet and it reveals itself to be much more nuanced.

The top of the piece has been delicately carved and then gilded with yellow gold.

The pattern, which repeats around the cabinet, echoes the Buddhist tree of life.

Tom Smyth Chippendale furniture school

It comprises a series of vases or containers, with plants spilling out to form a border around the cabinet top.

The colours that Tom chose were taken from the colours found on Buddhist prayer flags, and applied using acrylic paint.

Tom, a reservist in the Royal Engineers, has already found work after graduation at Allangrange Furniture Restoration.

It’s a woodworking business on the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands and run by Jay Jay Gladwin, the Chippendale school’s first ever student.

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