Tom Smyth Chippendale school

Baker’s block

Tom Smyth’s stand-out piece during his year with us was a monumental garden seat.

His inspiration for the seat came from work he carried out on the roof of a listed 400-year-old timber framed barn in Hampshire.

The link between a roofing project and a garden seat may not seem obvious, but you have to take inspiration wherever you find it.

His seat was a symphony in majestic steam-bending, and held together using only pegged mortice and tenon joints.

It was one of the stars of our graduate exhibition, and was snapped up by an eager buyer.

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

The top of the piece was delicately carved and then gilded with yellow gold, in a pattern that echoes the Buddhist tree of life.

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.

He then finished a lampstand in sycamore, rounding off his collection with a sycamore baker’s block with a granite top.

Tom, a reservist in the Royal Engineers, has already found work after graduation.

He’ll be working at Allangrange Furniture Restoration, run by our first ever student, Jayjay Gladwin.

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