Meet the women making waves in woodworking

This International Women’s Day we are celebrating the talented, creative female woodworkers enrolled on our current Professional Course.

Woodworking has traditionally been seen as a male-dominated industry. As a school, we are working hard to challenge this outdated perspective. It is encouraging to see that our efforts are bearing fruit, with increasing numbers of women signing up for our Professional Furniture Making Course.

Molly Johnson, @oddballstudio.co

Molly’s career started in fashion, working at a national retail brand in the US. Yet while she enjoyed the creative nature of styling the photoshoots and creating sets, Molly struggled to deal with the exclusive beauty standards of the fashion industry. 

Despite originally applying for the Professional Course in 2015, it took Molly 7 years to finally take up her position. Now she aspires to open a public workshop where people can come in and shop or view art from other creatives in the area.

Through her business, Oddball Studio, Molly also hopes to support vulnerable young people in her community, using woodwork as a tool to create positive change.

Marion Morris, @marion_makes

A complete novice in the art of woodworking, Marion came to the course following a 7-year career in the civil service with the Scottish government.

Keen to step outside of her comfort zone, Marion signed up to the Professional Course to learn a new skill that could incorporate her artistic abilities.

A wonder in the workshop, Marion intends to start a career in woodworking. Beyond this, she hopes to teach woodworking skills to women and people from low-income households, and to continue to work with charities close to her heart.

Katie Richter, @riversandrootsfurniture

Driven by a desire to work with her hands and craft beautiful, functional objects, Katie decided to enrol on the Professional Course during the nationwide lockdown.

An outdoor exercise instructor by trade, Katie is not new to the world of woodworking. Having previously supported a carpenter on a volunteer trip in Indonesia, Katie is familiar with DIY projects and even converted a van during the pandemic.

Now she hopes to establish her own business … and the name is still TBC.

Ellie Agnew, @agnewworkings

Previously a freelance lighting and sound technician, Ellie’s interest in the Professional Course was first piqued after driving past the school in picturesque East Lothian.

Keen to know more, Ellie investigated what the Chippendale School had to offer and here saw an opportunity to channel her creativity in new ways. Despite her limited woodworking experience, Ellie is making great strides on the course. Going forward she hopes to combine her two skillsets, crafting furniture when not working on freelance contracts.

Emma Sauvage

While Emma describes her experience of woodworking as basic and nothing more than a hobby, she had long been interested in creative, woodworking projects before applying to our training course.

A nurse by profession, Emma had little time to pursue her creative interests. It was during the pandemic that she made the decision to look into what the Chippendale School had to offer.

Emma has progressed hugely during her time on the course and has ambitions to set up her own workshop.  We cannot wait to see what she does next.

Chaska Schuler, @chaskart_furniture

Chaska spent 4 years in a cabinet maker apprenticeship in Switzerland before enrolling on our Professional Course. Despite her previous training, Chaska was eager to advance her skillset and gain a better understanding of woodworking as a career. The Chippendale School’s course, covering business management, social media, branding, veneering, restoration, design, and gilding was the obvious choice.

A talented woodworker, Chaska is looking to establish her own furniture making and cabinetmaking business.

Ania Boryslawska, @doyenne_woodworks

Travelling from the United States, Ania previously worked as a set builder and art director in Los Angeles. Additional experience in the construction industry opened her eyes to the career opportunities available to in the creative sector.

First drawn to woodworking because of its intersection between art and function, Ania saw the Professional Course as an opportunity to learn the skills required to become a professional woodworker and to gain the confidence to navigate a sometimes-challenging industry.

Ania is determined to launch a career in furniture making after completing the course, she isn’t 100% sure what that will look like just yet!

Are you also interested in pursuing a career in woodworking? Follow in the steps of these students and sign up for our Professional Course here.

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