Fiona Gilfillan Chippendale school

Sycamore space

Fiona Gilfillan from East Lothian became the second student on our newly-introduced month-long intermediate course.

She enjoyed it so much that she enrolled on our 2018/19 professional course, and is shortly to graduate with flying colours.

She’s just finished a quirky sycamore table, with a clever “lazy Susan” mechanism that allows the table top to be turned.

This allows for four hinged wings to be unfolded, and for the small table to become substantially larger.

It’s a beautifully-constructed piece, with carved legs and a motif on the table top gilded with 23 carat gold.

In its closed position it’s a very traditional piece of furniture, with striped inlay adding to the table’s old world charm.

But open the table out and it becomes a piece of furniture displaying a very split personality!

Fiona has designed in a science fiction theme, with astronauts and aliens.

It also has sycamore and tulip wood veneers, and is partly gilded with 12 carat gold.

Fiona Gilfillan table Chippendale school

It’s a bold and imaginative design, and its opening mechanism is both innovative and utterly functional.

It turns it from a decorative piece to a colourful and fun table for all the family.

Fiona has been a keen hobbyist for some years, and first came to the Chippendale school on one of our one-week introductory courses.

She now has the honour of being the only Chippendale student to have been on our introductory, intermediate, and professional courses.

She’s lucky in that she has a workshop near her home and has made furniture for friends and family using, for example, old scaffolding boards.

That experience shines through in her confident designs and craftsmanship and, after graduation, she’ll be moving into incubation space at the school to set up her own business.

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