Meeting 2023 Graduates: Grant & Ben groups

With the 2023 Chippendale Graduate Exhibition and Fine Furniture Sale just around the corner, we found out more about the soon-to-be graduates of our Professional Course.

In the second of our three-part blog series, we focus on the talented furniture makers in Grant’s and Ben’s tutor groups.

Our students have proved they have the talent and dedication to take their fine furniture making careers to the next level. You can visit our Exhibition (14-17 June) for a look at all of their amazing furniture designs.

If you haven’t done so already yet, book your free ticket for the Exhibition here.

Grant’s Tutor Group

Eivind Smedal


Coming from a varied career background, working as a healthcare worker and furniture making apprentice, Eivind decided he wanted to expand his skillset within the traditional craft which led him to Chippendale.

Eivind’s ideas and inspirations are drawn from traditional craft, Scandinavian design and experimentation with materials. He plans to make work that could not only be housed in private homes but placed somewhere public for a broad range of people to enjoy, either as functional furniture or art installations.

After the course, he plans to return to a studio on the West coast of Norway where he will work alongside another designer – they aim to strike a balance between functional art and fine furniture.

Harry Shonk

Harry’s Studio


Harry’s passion for woodworking began during Covid whilst tinkering in the garage with his brother. Having previously worked for the local government, Harry decided to take the plunge and join the Professional course at Chippendale. His designs celebrate the contrast between light and dark, stunning rippled Sycamore against burr Walnut. It’s all about letting the wood do the talking.

After graduating, Harry will continue to develop his skills as a designer-maker, with a particular focus on the natural colour of wood and bringing nature indoors.

Oisín Gallagher

Studio Settle


Oisín is an Irish artist based at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, whose practice manifests itself primarily in sculpture and performative happenings. Often working collaboratively, his sculptures support and facilitate the work of other artists, curators, and performers, and is influenced by his ongoing work as an art handler and fabricator for galleries and museums.

Over the past nine months, Oisín has been able to focus exclusively on furniture making and design. Under the name ‘Settle’, he creates unique furniture pieces that combine the contemporary with traditional Irish vernacular styles. Aside from developing his new furniture company, Oisín is looking forward to a restoration project in Tonnicoda, Italy, and a two-month funded artist residency in Japan this summer.

Robert Edwards

Rob has worked in the offshore oil industry for the last 35 years. He recently decided on a change of direction and having had a long-time love of carpentry, began to look at the availability of woodworking courses. He found the Chippendale school online and thought “that looks interesting “.

He attended the 1-week course as a bit of a recce, enjoyed it immensely and quickly signed up for one of the last available places on Chippendale’s professional course. His love of Arts and Crafts and mid-century furniture hugely influence his fine furniture designs, whilst ensuring any wood wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.

Ben’s Tutor Group

John Floyd

With 38 years in professional construction civil engineering and the surveying industry, John decided to turn it all on its head and learn how to design and create fine furniture.

Inspired by both traditional and modern styles, John strives to enhance the inherent beauty of local materials in his furniture design. Looking forward, John will continue to create fine furniture pieces at Myreside Studios, developing his craft and continuing his passion for the use of locally grown timber design solutions.

Josianne Borg Sammut

With an eye for detail, honed from crafting compelling legal documents, Josianne now channels her meticulousness into creating heirloom-quality furniture; a symphony of form and function, where elegance and practicality merge seamlessly.

Often called an ‘endless romantic’, Josianne’s creations are an expression of her deepest emotions, dreams, and desires. As a lifelong learner, constantly seeking knowledge, Josianne sees a future filled with endless opportunities for growth, where each experience, success and setback, fuels her insatiable curiosity even further. Above all, she believes that her dreams are rooted in the belief that curiosity is the driving force behind human progress.

Dina Quaas

Nettle & Bone Furniture


Dina left her home in Germany 2010 to begin a career in IT in Ireland. Working as a Professional Service and Customer Success Consultant, she learnt a great deal about customer relationships and project management and really enjoyed being able to network with many amazing people across the globe.

After working 50-plus-hour weeks for over a decade, she decided to take a step back and rediscover herself. Naturally, this was a scary move, leaving an established career behind to find something more fulfilling, however she soon discovered it was one of the most fruitful moves. It allowed her to step outside her comfort zone, try new things, put her advocacy for lifelong learning into action, and eventually, fall in love with something that has changed her entire career and life trajectories for the better – woodworking.

Dina has since built Nettle & Bone Furniture located in East Lothian, UK. Her business is founded on the pillars of sustainability, material quality, placing customers’ needs first, and a passion for cultivating timeless pieces that others can genuinely be proud to call their own.

Steven Runciman

Mungo Design


Steven Runciman is an aspiring furniture designer based in Glasgow. He has a passion for clean, minimal design & natural materials combining to provide a considered user experience.
After graduating from the University of Strathclyde with a degree in Product Design, Innovation, Graphic Design & Typography, he decided to pursue his passion for fine furniture.

Steven brings a unique perspective, drawing inspiration from graphic forms, while maintaining a strong user-centred design approach. Mindfulness and sustainability are also fundamental ideas behind Steven’s practice; while commuting from Glasgow to attend, he has offset his environmental impact by planting trees. Steven aims to seek employment to further expand the skills he has picked up & developed during his time at CISF.

Christopher Alley

Alley Krafts

Chris Alley was born and raised in Alaska where he worked as a commercial fisherman for 15 years. When not out at sea, Chris would tinker in his workshop, making home furniture. Deciding he wanted to learn more and intrigued by the idea of learning in Scotland and the broad skillset that is taught at the school, he enrolled on to the Professional course at Chippendale. Chris has enjoyed every day in the workshop since and looks forward to setting up his fine furniture business following graduation.

Interested in attending the 2023 Graduate Exhibition and Fine Furniture Sale? Book your free ticket here.

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