Alex Stanton Chippendale school

Shou Sugi Ban

Alex Stanton, from Brisbane in Australia, came to us after working for three years fitting timber floors and staircases.

It gave him a grounding in working with wood, but not the skills needed to design and make fine furniture.

But Alex has proved that he has absolutely learned those skills during his year with us.

His first piece was a stunning ash console table, with beautiful decorative flourishes.

For its legs, Alex moulded laminated supports that are a design echo of Gothic cathedral architecture.

He also incorporated African ebony veneers into the leg supports, and carried that colour contrast through to the drawer fronts which are crafted from burned Douglas fir.

This burning technique, more precisely known as Shou Sugi Ban, originated in 18th century Japan and was initially used to preserve wood.

Now, as Alex has demonstrated, it a striking way to bring different colours and textures into piece of furniture.

That theme of contrast is also reflected in the table’s drawer bottoms, each made from spalted beech.

Alex has also made a small and delicate display cabinet in oak and spalted beech, and a steam-bent coffee table in olive ash and spalted beech.

Lastly, he made a fluted sideboard in rippled rosewood with walnut veneers.

Alex will be returning To Australia, but will be back in Scotland very soon!

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