At Chippendale School, we pride ourselves on providing our students with exceptional opportunities for learning. In addition to receiving world-class training in woodworking from our resident tutors, we host a number of guest tutors throughout the academic year.Read More
The very best furniture carries within its design a little bit of the maker’s DNA.
It’s the kind of design touch we encourage on our professional course at the Chippendale school because it’s those small flourishes that really put the bespoke into fine furniture.
That’s the case with Oli Juliusson’s beautifully-crafted olive ash table.
Oli, from Hafnarfjardur in Iceland, was a trawlerman for ten years, before deciding on a new career on dry land.
However, as he admits, fishing will always be in his blood, and his table echoes that seafaring background.
For a start, he’s named his table the Dolphin, after the fishing vessel he sailed on, and the design of the table’s legs reflect the architecture of the ship’s gallows – the arched structure at the rear of the ship (pictured above).
Oli plans to return to Iceland after graduation, making furniture that honours the lives of Icelandic fishermen – but, such is the lure of the sea, may also spend time at his old job.Read More
Scott, from the USA, is a larger-than-life figure in the world of veneering and this week has been an exciting and fun time for the students.
Scott has been coming to us for years and is also an artist, sculptor and furniture maker, creating work that is tactile to every sense, and you can see examples of his work here.
A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, now living and practicing in eastern New York State, Scott teaches and lectures internationally, and has published several books on aspects of furniture making and veneering.
His work is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Hunter Museum of American Art in Tennessee, and the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, and in several private collections.
“Every year I come to the Chippendale school and show them examples from previous years, and each year the students want to outdo what’s been done before,” said Scott.
“Every year therefore the standard of work seems to improve, and that’s a fantastic thing to be involved with,” he said.
We’ll bring you examples of work by our students next week.
Picture: Scott Grove (left) with student Jacob Corradi and his marquetry chessboard.Read More
Scotland’s only dedicated furniture design school is calling on careers guidance professionals not to forget fine woodworking as a career option for young people.
The Chippendale International School of Furniture in East Lothian takes in some 25 students from around the world each year.
But the school remains concerned that careers guidance only seems to highlight trades such as joinery and plumbing for youngsters who want to work with their hands after leaving school.
The school’s call comes a day after Scottish exam results were published, with some 150,000 passes at Higher level.
“A year-long course at the Chippendale school can, and does, pave the way for a fulfilling career in fine furniture design and making,” said Anselm Fraser, principal of the school, which opened over 30 years ago.
“But we seem destined always to be the Cinderella of career options for young people, with almost no school leavers from Scotland applying for one of our courses,” he said.
This year, students came from the USA, UK, Poland, Germany, Austria, Singapore, India, South Korea and Australia – but with no school leaver graduates coming from Scotland.
Student of the Year 2016/17 was a recently-retired tax inspector from Australia, and last year’s top prize went to a Russian student who was looking to change careers, and who has now set up her own business in St Petersburg.
“The majority of applicants to the Chippendale school are from people who have embarked on a career, but who have found it to be unfulfilling, and enrolling at the school is all about following their passion,” said Anselm Fraser.
“However, it is disappointing that we rarely receive applications from young people leaving school, particularly from Scotland, and who are being pointed in other directions. Many young people simply don’t know that furniture design courses are available, because careers guidance teachers also don’t know they exist,” he said.Read More
Jack Jensen, from Milton Keynes, came to the Chippendale school from a three-year furniture making course at Moulton College in Northamptonshire.
He long interest in working with wood has blossomed into a very real talent for furniture design, creating beautifully-made pieces that incorporate absolute originality.
One of his signature pieces was an Oriental-style drinks cabinet in American black walnut and Scottish olive ash.
His cabinet echoes the style of traditional Japanese archways and bridges, with rice paper sliding doors that perfectly resemble a traditional Oriental interior.
Jack is hoping to further his considerable skills with a furniture making apprenticeship, and to then open his own business.Read More
A talented young woodworker from West Lothian has taken his love of vinyl records to a new level – by turning a humble record player into a work of art.
Alan Nisbet from Broxburn has just graduated with distinction from the Chippendale International School of Furniture, where his “Vorticular vinyl cabinet,” made from solid ash and oak, was singled out for particular praise.
The Chippendale school in East Lothian takes students from around the world for its immersive furniture design courses. This year, students came from the UK, USA, Germany, Austria, Poland, India, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.
Alan came to the school having worked for his family business, creating and installing residential furnishing packages for local councils and housing associations.
His decision to move from the relative security of the family business was based on a desire to explore his natural creativity to make fine furniture.
His retro-style cabinet features a rotating fan door and integrated turntable, turning a functional box of electronics into a beautiful piece of furniture.
“I love vinyl, and it’s fashionable and in demand at the moment, and I couldn’t resist designing something that balanced form and function – something that works perfectly but is also amazing to look at,” he said.
Another signature piece was his “Deskometry” writing bureau veneered with walnut and oak, with beautifully-designed twisted oak legs and drawers.
However, in another twist to convention, Alan also crafted the body of the bureau with flowing curved lines, giving the piece both a striking and contemporary appearance.
Alan is setting up Alan Nisbet Furniture from workshops on the outskirts of Edinburgh, to design and make fine furniture, kitchens, and furniture restoration.
“Alan has been an exemplary student with a very real talent and aptitude for woodworking. His pieces have taken the traditional and given them a new perspective,” said Anselm Fraser, principal of the Chippendale school. “His vinyl record player is quite simply a work of art.”
“His designs incorporate hugely well-made functionality, but are coupled with design flair and a real understanding of the properties of the wood, its limitations and all its beautiful potentials,” he said.
Alan said: “I have always had a passion for design in all forms. I love working with wood, the challenge of creating innovative and attractive solutions to design problems and the incredible satisfaction of turning an idea nto a three dimensional piece of furniture.”Read More