There’s nothing quite as satisfying as creating something by hand. If you’ve ever received a handmade object, or made one yourself, you’ll appreciate the unique beauty of those tiny imperfections and asymmetries. It’s just one of the reasons why more people are choosing to furnish their homes with hand-finished objects over mass-produced designs -no two pieces are the same.
Handcrafting is essential when learning the basic principles of woodworking, and there are some skills that just can’t be replicated by machine work. However, to realise large projects or complex conceptual pieces, woodworking tech can achieve some pretty stunning and innovative results. At the Chippendale School, we believe it’s important that our students learn both traditional techniques and pioneering approaches to become well-rounded craftspeople.
Restore our history
You might have noticed a new zero-waste shop on your high street – they’re everywhere now! Sustainable practises are blossoming and it’s bringing exciting change to every industry.
In the past, your grandparents’ old furniture may have been overlooked in favour of new pieces, but now, people are taking pride in inherited furniture and even paying to have them restored to their former glory.
Restoring old furniture is no mean feat, requiring an understanding of the original design, well-honed craft skills and a focused practice – machine work cannot rival hand techniques. Students of our Professional course learn the traditional skills necessary for restoring an array of old and antique furniture styles.
Tech for precision
Of course, at the Chippendale School, we encourage our students to find the best uses for new technological developments and create truly innovative and striking designs.
For projects that require high levels of precision or speedy completion, a CNC machine is invaluable for creating technical designs where the margin of error is very small.
3D printers are powerful tools for experimentation, and we use these for modelling new designs, to help students test their concepts and put together models for clients.
Even virtual reality has made it onto the field of furniture making. The Chippendale School has a set of goggles that allow students to view their digital designs in 3D, testing out the functionality of their furniture before they choose their first plank of wood.
Making a mistake in woodworking can feel like the end of the world, especially if you’re conscious of wasting precious materials. Our motto is ‘measure twice, cut once’ for good reason!
When we only have one chance to get a piece right, technology can be a great help. AutoCAD helps us to visualise our designs before we make the first cut. We can plan out the fine details of our projects, giving us the confidence to embrace our creativity. This allows us to boldly produce stunning pieces that leave a mark on the world.
At the Chippendale School, we work hard to maintain this balance between tradition and technology. By blending the best features of time-tested practises and innovative methods, we can equip our students with the skills to be leading makers and craftspeople once they graduate.