The Chippendale International School of Furniture offers a unique opportunity for students who want to make working with wood their future. The furniture course covers core woodworking skills, in-depth practical work, furniture design and furniture restoration.

The School prides itself on a friendly, supportive learning environment, where each student can learn at their own pace, secure in the knowledge that they are receiving the best technical and design education.

Our furniture design and cabinet making course gives you up to 1400 hours bench time, one-to-one tuition with highly-experienced tutors, teaching a broad base of skills, collaborative, peer-to-peer learning, and one-to-one creative and skills tutoring. The essential elements of the course are:

A perspective in furniture design

Understanding furniture design is fundamental to the success of becoming a successful woodworker. The subject of design is studied by students throughout their furniture course, so that all students can incorporate their own designs into their projects.

Throughout the course, students learn the history of design and historical furniture makers and their methods, right through to modern and contemporary design. Students are taught the design virtues and limitations of each material being used.

We also encourage students to develop their own ‘signature’ style, enabling them to express their individual ideas and creativity.

Our experienced tutors develop students’ practical and creative skills, and students are expected to make at least two original pieces of furniture during the course. These pieces are assessed internally and contribute to your final grade – and students’ pieces are displayed at the School’s annual Open Days as well as a public exhibition in central Edinburgh.

Furniture Restoration

Through studying antique restoration, students learn the widest range of techniques, and students are expected to restore at least three items of antique furniture during our cabinet making course.

You’ll especially learn how to bring a piece of furniture back to life while maintaining its patina – the little dents and scratches that tell its story – which is an important and highly-challenging skill to learn.

The commercial world

Business and marketing skills are an integral part of our furniture making course, giving students the confidence to turn their hobby and passion for furniture making into a business. From advice on business logos and business cards to social media, website design and marketing techniques, you will learn how to effectively market your businesses.

Field trips & workshop visits

Our holistic course is backed by a programme of visits to Scotland’s top museums, workshops and private collections, giving you the chance to see great pieces of furniture in context.

The workshop visits, where you enjoy practical demonstrations and discussions with experienced woodworking professionals, give an insight into how to run a successful business. We want our students to have the necessary tools to start up their own business, because we believe that you can only emulate success by seeing success.

What’s it like to be a Chippendale Furniture School student? Browse student feedback and see student interviews in our School videos.