Celebrating women in woodworking

Following International Women’s Day 2021 which took place earlier this month, we are celebrating the women of the woodworking world and encouraging any women thinking of getting into furniture making to take the plunge! 

We have seen a record number of enquiries about our furniture making courses from women, making up 50% of all enquiries so far in 2021. Sarah Fraser, Chippendale School marketing manager says:  

“This strong interest from women reflects a steady rise the School has observed in recent years and it’s something we have been focused on as we try to break gender stereotypes and increase diversity in the woodworking world. 

Sarah Fraser joined the team in 2020

“More women are coming through the workshop doors – including myself! I joined the school’s leadership team in late 2020, taking a change of direction in my career following the birth of my daughter. We currently have six great women on the current Professional Course doing amazing work, not to mention those in our incubation hub who are building their businesses there.” 

Francisca Bullinger Design 

Francisca Bullinger joined our Professional Course in 2019 with hopes of setting up her own fine furniture making businesses. Despite a challenging year amid Covid she has gone on to create Francisca Bullinger Design (https://franbdesign.com/), a handmade sustainable furniture company, and is already taking commissions! 

Francisca Bullinger made a coffee table, cabinet, mirror and garden bench 

Francisca says: 

“My designs showcase a love of the shapes and textures found in nature and combine these with modern structures. I want to celebrate our roots in nature, not only with my designs but by making sure I can be as sustainable as possible.” 

“Once you study at the Chippendale School the experience stays with you and it is great to see more women coming through into the field. Furniture making is a very rewarding journey. Since graduating I have been based at the School’s Myreside Studios where I have been working on my first commissions, which include an elegant dining table made from locally sourced oak for a young family. I also make smaller pieces such as coasters for my Etsy business.” 

Women-Made Furniture Designs 

Alongside Francisca on last year’s Professional Course were fellow female furniture makers Constance Graesslin and Alice Caundle – they all crafted strong design pieces which are a testament to their hard work on the course and prove that woodworking is not just a ‘job for the boys!’ 

We are proud to run furniture making courses for students who are diverse, also in their approach to crafting beautiful furniture and to see them setting up successful businesses in such a short space of time even amidst a challenging economy.  
If you are still unsure of what being a furniture maker entails, have a look at Francisca’s profile on the Fine Furniture Guild along with our other graduates. https://www.finefurnitureguild.com/makers-directory/francisca-bullinger 

We are taking applications for our next Professional course – find out more about it here or get in touch with us today if you have any questions. 

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