Spotlight on 2021 Graduates – Group 1

With our 2021 Graduate Exhibition & Sale fast approaching, we will be profiling our soon-to-be graduates and their exquisite creations over the coming weeks. First up is Group 1, who were tutored over the last year by Graham Davies.  

Our Graduate Exhibition is taking place here at the School from September 8th-11th and we will be welcoming visitors to the school and also creating highlight videos for those unable to attend in person. 

If you’d like to attend, please book in a free time slot here. If you can’t make It, don’t worry, as we’ll be sharing lovely content from the exhibition across our website, Instagram and Facebook pages too! 

Thomas Hamill, UK  


Sycamore coffee table with removable trays made with bent laminated sides and custom dyed veneer bottoms

Putting the ‘fun’ in functional, Thomas Hamill from Northern Ireland draws on inspirations from the vibrant and playful collages of Matisse and the abstract works of ‘purist’ Kandinsky. His design has evolved through an enjoyment of both exploration and experimentation with an openness that welcomes the unexpected parts of the design process… including the problems! While playfulness is key, for Thomas each design must relay a strong sense of place and purpose. His hall-seat table and coffee table illustrate how he has managed to fuse the ‘fun’ctionality and abstract. Look out for KwerkoFurniture and follow his adventures in woodworking.  

Instagram: @kwerkofurniture  

Oded Strauss, Israel  

Steam bending for Oded’s design

“Woodworking for me is a late love” says Oded Strauss, who was looking to add some ‘spice’ to his daily routine as an IT Manager. Hailing from Israel, Oded came to Chippendale School to nurture his relationship with the craft and gather the knowledge and skills to help him master furniture design and making. On the course he has relished being in ‘dreaming-planning-changing’ mode and bringing his ideas to life. While unsure where this romance with wood will take him in a world that prioritises the keyboard over the shooting board, he has no intention of breaking up just yet!  

Email: odedst@outlook.com  

Ivan Zakharov, Russia  

Ivan with his coffee table design

Hailing from Moscow in Russia, Ivan was inspired to travel across the world to study at the Chippendale School. Having gathered a great deal of skills and knowledge over the last 10 months and an understanding of his working style, he is excited to start tackling all of his new ideas. The course has opened up ‘new horizons’ for his work, with one of his final pieces being a guitar. Upon graduating, Ivan plans to move on to another furniture school to further increase his woodworking skills, travel the world to experience different techniques, and eventually open his own furniture making business.  

Gary Stewart, UK  

Gary has developed his contemporary style combined with mid-century influences. His graduate collection is born from a study on how life has changed while living through a global pandemic, namely how we now work, explore, and gather. After taking some time out to begin married life, Gary will set up his own workshop in Glasgow to run his business, Skelf, with an aim to run short courses in woodworking and a wider plan to have a social impact by engaging with charities and schools, to give an opportunity for others to experience the benefits that making something with your hands can bring.  

Instagram: @skelffurniture  

Chris Taylor, UK  

Northcote Furniture   

Chris’s design “Lilongwe” – a case on a stand

A conscious creator, Chris Taylor designs and makes sustainable vegan furniture inspired by movement and versatility. He believes our furniture, while inherently functional, should move with us as transient beings. His designs prioritise usefulness, mobility, and functionality allowing them to adapt over time to suit different spaces. He enjoys playing with form, texture and colour to bring about an element of surprise, energy or calm to a home. Expect pops of colours from Northcote Furniture, whether as a mere suggestion or a bold statement, and enjoy the emotional response this invites!   

Instagram: @northcote.furniture   

Facebook: @chris.northcotefurniture  

Follow in our graduates’ footsteps…

We are currently accepting applications for our next Professional Course for 2022/23. If you are interested in this or any of our other courses, see more information here.  

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