Many students come to the Chippendale school having had previous careers in something else entirely.
Campbell Paterson from Grantown on Spey in the Scottish Highlands was no exception.
His early career was working offshore in the oil and gas sector. Then he spent another three years in landscape gardening and tree surgery.
He therefore had a basic understanding of the raw material that goes into fine furniture.
Although learning professional woodworking had been in his mind for several years, he had little woodworking experience.
The only training he’d received was in spoon carving, and that only gives limited skills.
But lack of woodworking skills or experience is no impediment to coming on one of our professional courses.
Because, over a nine-period, we first teach our students the basics of design and making. Then we give them all the advanced skills they will ever need to practice as professional furniture designers.
It’s a course that we’ve been running for over thirty years. So we know everything about how to build our students’ confidence alongside their design and making skills.
But our professional course is also about working with students of all ages and proficiencies. So it’s a course that suits everyone, whether or not they have ever picked up a chisel.
Campbell’s long-term goal is to return to the Highlands and set up his own woodworking business.
But, for the immediate future, he’s basing his new business in incubation space at the school.
Our incubation space, Myreside Studios, allows graduate students to easily set up in business. They have continued use of the school’s equipment and machinery.
It also gives them access to our tutors so that, if they have a design or making problem, help is on hand.
One of Campbell’s most beautiful pieces was his mirror, a decorative item that all our students have to make.
It’s a segment of the course that coincides with us bringing in a world-renowned gilding expert to teach them that important skill.
Many of our students therefore use their new gilding skills to decorate their mirrors, and Campbell was no exception.
His stunning mirror in white and yellow gold, framed in fumed Oak, was a thing of exceptional beauty.
Gilded with 12 carat white gold and 24 carat yellow gold, it was artificially weathered to give it an antique look.
His other wonderful piece was a drinks cabinet for displaying one bottle only.
It was therefore a cabinet to showcase only your finest and oldest bottle of whisky.
Made from fumed Oak, with Sycamore veneer on the outside, it had flamed Mahogany veneer on the inside.
The cabinet opened vertically with a three-leaf hinged door, and inside was an oak stand with solid brass surround for that special bottle.
Campbell’s new business is Campbell Paterson Furniture.