Woodworking talent is something that can shine through at any age.
That’s why it’s particularly pleasing to see real talent in Julius Schmalbach from Hamburg in Germany.
He’s the youngest student on this year’s professional course, and joined us straight from school.
Julius has made a beautifully functional bench and a well-executed ash chair with a woven cane back.
His chair, made to his own bespoke design, has steam bent and laminated legs.
It’s a piece that demonstrates a mastery of several woodworking skills.
He’s also now made an escritoire, veneered in cherry, with two drawers held together with hand-cut dovetails.
It was an ambitious project, particularly to veneer around corners, and to make its cherry octagonal tapered legs.
It’s a lovely and practical piece of furniture, with a high level of attention to detail. For example, the handles are also made from well-turned pieces of cherry.
Not content with that, he’s also completed a walnut medicine cabinet, with star-shaped mirror cut-outs.
The pieces of mirror are gilded in white gold to lend it a magical quality. Inside, it has two drawers and two shelves.
It’s that mix of the aesthetic and functional that make Julius’ pieces so appealing.
As well as, of course, his mastery of woodworking techniques.
Julius is returning to Germany, and is shortly to embark on a new course studying architecture.
Furniture design and architecture have many similarities, not least the skills to create 3D designs and then turn ideas into reality.
That process involves an understanding of form and function, and how to create furniture or buildings with aesthetic appeal and structural strength.
We wish him every success with his studies . We also know that his year with us will have taught him many important and useful lessons.