Introducing Our 2024 Graduates – Part 1

The 2024 Chippendale Graduate Exhibition and Fine Furniture Sale took place in June, where our Professional Course graduates showcased the exquisite furniture pieces they had been meticulously crafting over 30 weeks.

In the first of two blogs, we learn more about these talented fine furniture makers and their fantastic work.

Andrew’s Tutor Group

Colten Palmer

Growing up on the West Coast of Canada, Colten first became interested in woodworking during shop class in secondary school.  

Over subsequent years, he participated in a number of short courses in furniture making, whilst also working in the construction industry. His passion for woodworking, led him to Scotland, to the Chippendale School.   

Having completed the Professional course, he now feels well-equipped with the knowledge and practical skills required for a woodworking career.  

In his free time, he also enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, sketching, ramen, long walks on the beach, and the smell of freshly cut grass.  

Laura Maia Power

Laura Maia Power grew up in a home education community. She was surrounded by various makers and explored different skills such as green woodwork, turning, and weaving from a young age. 

In her early twenties, Laura embarked on an epic cycling adventure around the world with a friend. During a Christmas in India, she discovered a family-run block print clothing factory, where she met local artisans. This experience sparked her passion for traditional skills. 

To further her expertise, Laura enrolled in the Professional course at Chippendale. She aims to make everyday items beautiful. 

Louis Wilson

Having previously worked as a bike mechanic, and lighting and sound engineer, Louis decided to combine his technical skills with his creative side and follow his dream of working with his hands. 

Whilst at Chippendale, Louis has designed and made a modern bookcase with a secret compartment. He also wanted to explore his love of music by handcrafting two integrated speakers made from wood.  

Upon graduating, Louis hopes to fuse his passion for woodworking and music by starting a business focused on designing and creating bespoke wooden sound systems. 

Marcos Fernandez

At the beginning of the course, Marcos was a newcomer to woodworking and furniture design. He has since fallen in love with wood and what one can shape it into.  

Drawing inspiration from the natural and imagined world, Marcos designs dynamic, geometric forms.  

Along with furniture-making and design, Marcos is interested in woodworking as a means of creating sculpture and art.

Noah Baker

At the beginning of the course, Marcos was a newcomer to woodworking and furniture design. He has since fallen in love with wood and what one can shape it into.  

Drawing inspiration from the natural and imagined world, Marcos designs dynamic, geometric forms.  

Along with furniture-making and design, Marcos is interested in woodworking as a means of creating sculpture and art.

Anna’s Tutor Group

Daniel Butchers

Before attending this course, Daniel worked as an accountant but wanted to leave behind his desk and make things. This led him to work for a furniture-making business specialising in furniture for pubs and restaurants. 

Having decided he wanted to further his skillset; Daniel visited the Graduate Exhibition at Chippendale in 2022 which inspired him to enrol on the Professional course himself. He is now looking at setting up his own business making home offices, office furniture and other custom home-fitted spaces. 

Kevin Tronel

Born in Nantes, Kevin has always been intrigued by woodworking. Love and life brought him to Paris, and then Scotland, where he acquired business management, design, and marketing skills.

Founding L’Atelier 20, Kevin used his self-taught skills to carefully restore hundreds of sideboards, chairs, and dressers. This taught him how masters like Hans Wegner approached furniture design. 

While honing his craft at The Chippendale School, Kevin launched Wedge Designs – a brand that brings a contemporary twist to the Mid-Century style that he admires so much. 

Maria Hensley

Maria always had an interest in product design, making and DIY, so pursuing a career in furniture making was a natural fit. After discovering Chippendale, she enrolled in the Professional Course and hasn’t looked back since.

Her furniture designs are primarily inspired by interior challenges she has faced in her own home. Maria ensures that her creations incorporate a variety of techniques and joinery methods, allowing her to learn and practice while on the course.

Maria hopes to work for a furniture-making workshop to develop her newly learnt skills, before starting up her own business in the future.

Simon Montgomery

Before Chippendale, Simon spent over 20 years working in the IT industry, most recently as Technical Director for Edinburgh-based business CompanyNet.  

Simon devoted the previous seven years of weekends and evenings to extending and transforming his family’s home with bespoke joinery and furniture. He then decided to enrol at the Chippendale School of Furniture to further develop his craft and follow his dream of starting a business.  

He founded Go Merry Studio which has a focus on designing and making beautiful and useful furniture using innovative and sustainable materials. Simon lives in Edinburgh with his wife and three boys who are useful to have around when unloading and loading orders. 

Tom Richards

Having spent the last 15 years working in the hospitality and catering industry, Tom made the decision to embrace his creative side and learn the craft of woodworking. A fondness for making things and a brief foray into carving led him to the Chippendale School of Furniture.  

Post-graduation, Tom plans to continue to learn as much as he can about the industry, starting with growing his own woodworking business, Nostromo Bespoke, making commission-based, bespoke furniture from Myreside Studios. 

Ben’s Tutor Group

Barney Hagger

Barney has spent his entire career in various construction trades, but his passion lies in working with wood. This enthusiasm became a reality when he embarked on a course with the Chippendale School.  

Having inherited his grandfather’s vinyl record cabinet, Barney embarked on a long but rewarding process of rehoming it in a more contemporary cabinet. Upon graduating, Barney plans to launch his new business, VOLO, based in his hometown of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. 

Ben Sims

Ben is a furniture maker based in the Scottish Borders. After secondary school, he enrolled in a course for joinery and carpentry, which is where he fell in love with making. The course allowed him to learn the fundamentals, but he was in need of his next challenge. He soon realised that he wanted to focus on more refined work and looked into furniture making and design.  

He then made the decision to enrol at Chippendale and has not looked back. He is excited for the future and intends to set up his own furniture-making business at Myreside Studios. 

Chlomo Hutcheson

From circus performer to furniture maker. Chlomo spent his childhood immersed in craft accompanying his mother on her business trips to India and Morocco and later working with his sister Phoebe at her Edinburgh store Dahlia.   

Chlomo studied at Edinburgh Steiner School where he received a broad education in both fine art and craft. After graduating he studied acrobatics at Circomedia Bristol, following which he returned home to join the family business Bohemia.   

Chlomo’s work champions traditional design but offers a contemporary twist to create functional pieces of heirloom quality. On graduating from Chippendale, he is joining his sister in creating Rowan & Rose, a business based on a love for slow craft and nature. They will be producing both handmade furniture and botanical artwork.  

Jean-Philippe Clark

Furniture making was not something Jean-Philippe ever considered as a possibility. For most of his career, he worked as an outdoor educator and conservationist. This led to a curiosity about how humans and tools have evolved together to create magnificent things. Woodworking was a natural progression, which quickly developed into something between a hobby and an obsession.  

After the course, he intends to share his experience with his community back home. In addition to running a custom furniture business, he is eager to seek out opportunities to fuse his love of the craft and his love for education. 

Laura Dorothy

Laura studied Illustration at Leeds Arts University where she gained valuable design skills and fostered a love for making. After graduating she realised that she wanted to combine her illustrative style with woodworking.  

She apprenticed at a local sash window-making firm and in doing so gained a solid foundation in bench joinery before enrolling at Chippendale.  

Laura’s work is centred around the importance of play within design. Her pieces created on the course are inspired by deterrent paving slabs commonly found at train stations and major roads. After the course, she wishes to start her own furniture-making company called Tree of Wonderful, based here at Myreside Studios.  

Interested in attending the 2024 Graduate Exhibition and Fine Furniture Sale? Book your free ticket here.

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