To ensure that our students only receive the very best teaching, we have a number of world-class visiting experts. These include:
Principal and Lecturer
Tom is a passionate and skilled woodworker. He is responsible for the daily running of the school, overseeing the design of all course programmes to ensure every student has the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to succeed in furniture making and design. His lectures on the history of design from the Egyptian era through to contemporary furniture form the foundations of the syllabus. Tom took over as School Principal in Autumn 2019 following on from his father and founder of the school, Anselm Fraser.
Anselm Fraser established The Chippendale International School of Furniture in 1985 and has trained more than 500 Professional course students over the past three decades, many of whom have gone on to run successful businesses around the world. He has also trained the several hundred short course students that have attended the school’s Introductory course over the years. Anselm spends most of his time restoring a listed building near the school that will become student accommodation. Students will have the chance to witness this restoration project while on the course.
Adam is the school’s woodturning specialist. He was a tutor on the Professional course for two years before setting up his own woodworking business in Perthshire. He returns to teach woodturning across all formats of the school’s courses.
Matty is a tutor on the Professional course. He is in charge of delivering ‘The Chippendale School of Furniture Award’ as a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Assessor. Matty is an experienced furniture designer and maker who expertly guides students through the furniture making process.
Tutor and Student Welfare Officer
Clare is the school’s restoration specialist and is one of the longest-serving tutors, having joined the team some 20 years ago as an apprentice. She has an SQA in Hand Crafted Furniture, Joints and Assembly Furniture, and combines her work in the Professional course workshop with her role as Student Welfare Officer. She also manages machine maintenance alongside Grant Anderson.
Ben is a part-time design tutor on the Professional course and runs his own successful bespoke furniture making company from Myreside Studios, where he also supports residing graduates. He offers a blend of traditional craft and modern making expertise to students. He has designed furniture for major blue-chip clients and private individuals and has even made custom furniture for the Scottish Parliament. He holds an Honours Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Furniture Design from Edinburgh College of Art.
Graham has been with the school since 1990 and is a time-served furniture restorer and maker. Graham leads on demonstrating bench skills and specialises in veneer repairs, including Dutch marquetry and gilding. He is also an expert in colour matching, having trained at the workshops of Jean Burhouse Furniture.
Andrew is head of tech at the Chippendale School. He is a tutor on the Professional course specialising in Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Students looking to upscale their furniture making business will benefit from Andrew’s insight into CNC machining, 3D Printing and Fusion 360. Andrew is an extremely approachable tutor whose knowledge knows no bounds in both furniture making and CAD and manufacturing.
Intermediate Course Tutor
Alan has been part of the fabric of the school since he joined the team in 1985 as an apprentice at the age of 15. An accomplished teacher and demonstrator with years of experience backed by training at The Midland International School of Polishing, Alan specialises in finishing and polishing, and is well-recognised in this field. He heads up the Intermediate course, teaching an intensive one-month programme to a maximum of two students at any one time. He is on-hand to support graduates from the Professional course in the Myreside Studios incubation workshops.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Grant now calls Scotland home. A new member of the Professional course teaching staff, he is a wonderful problem solver and a highly skilled metal worker. He also manages machine maintenance alongside Clare Charleston.
Wood Carving Tutor
John is an experienced woodcarver and is passionate about communicating these age-old hand crafting skills. With over 30 years’ experience, he has mastered the craft as well as the ability to teach others his extensive knowledge.
Professor David Jones
Expert Furniture Historian
Professor Jones is a world-renowned lecturer on the History of Furniture, formerly at St. Andrews University. He shares his expert knowledge of Thomas Chippendale with the students.
Victoria is an experienced teacher and a member of the Association of Master Upholsters & Soft Furnishers. She runs VM Furnishing, an upholstery business which combines teaching upholstery and furniture upcycling with domestic and contract upholstery and furniture design projects, working with interior designers and members of the public.
Isa is an expert in perspective drawing with watercolours, and specialises in the history of modern furniture. She comes to us from the Lycée des Métiers d’art Georges Guynemer near Montpellier in France. She teaches students how to realise their designs in perspective during the first half of Term One.
Richard is a member of the Society of Gilders and works as a gilding consultant and practitioner. He runs his own company, Watergild Studios, and is passionate about sharing his love for the craft.
Scott comes to the school to teach students on the Professional course the intricacies of advanced veneering, marquetry and inlaying. He is an American self-taught innovator who brings new ideas and techniques to the school each year.
Steam Bending Tutor
Michael Fortune has designed and made furniture by commission since 1975 for private residences all over North America. He has also worked extensively with the Canadian Embassy, designing and making stunning furniture for their embassies around the world. His work incorporates a variety of wood forming techniques. On the Professional course he teaches students the many ways in which wood can be bent to form flowing designs.
Tom Thackray and Steve Langton
Windsor Chair Making Tutors
Tom and his son-in-law Steve are Windsor chair making specialists that have a thriving business in the North of England. For the past 20 years they have been teaching Professional course students how to make a Windsor chair in a week, in teams of four.
Read More About Us
Our professional course, which equips students with all the skills and acumen to go on and run their own furniture making and design business, is a nine-month long course running from October to June each year.
Graduates from The Chippendale International School of Furniture receive a certification recognised worldwide and are equipped with all the skills required to run a successful woodworking business.
Find out what other graduates from the Chippendale International School of Furniture had to say about their experience of learning from the best and mastering their furniture making and design skills.
Get In Touch
If you are looking to embark on a career change or you have an interest in the art of woodworking and furniture design, get in touch and arrange in a visit.