Honor's Winning Group

Five graduating students at the Chippendale International School of Furniture have been awarded special prizes for the craftsmanship and design excellence of their work.

The school, in central Scotland, takes students from around the world on 30-week professional courses, with the 2017/18 intake coming from Ireland, New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago and the Falkland Islands.

Student of the Year was awarded to Honor Dalrymple, from East Lothian, who is a former structural engineer whose training has given her particular design skills – for example, being able to visualise in 3D, understand structure, and the strength and limitations of materials.

“The beauty of Honor’s work, which included a cabinet, oak desk and chairs, was exemplary.  Her designs were excellent and the quality of her making was sublime,” said Anselm Fraser, school principal, who presented her with her graduation certificate and winner’s Quaich.

Students’ Choice of the Year was awarded to Gianluca Caregnato, from near Milan in northern Italy, and who originally studied agriculture at technical school.

His signature piece was an art nouveau-inspired desk in oak with walnut veneer, with the main part of the desk requiring 54 intricately-formed pieces of veneer.

This year saw a public vote at an exhibition of students’ work in Edinburgh, with the Punters’ Prize being awarded to Timothy Low from Singapore.

His signature piece was a funfair console-style cabinet, made from layers of bendy ply and sycamore, with a hand-carved little girl on its front who has lost her balloons.  The multi-coloured balloons, set in resin, are floating away across the cabinet’s top.

The Best Design Award was won by Isaac Young from Suffolk, whose drinks cabinet, complete with a complex opening mechanism, was designed to look like the kind of safe that a bank would keep its money in overnight.

It comprises MDF veneered with wenge wood, a dark wood that lends a striking pattern and patina to the piece – and is all the more remarkable since Isaac came to the Chippendale school straight from school.

The Best Portfolio Award was won by Darren Christie, a qualified zoologist from the Falkland Islands, whose work included an elm and fumed oak jewellery box which he made for his wife, complete with brass hanging pegs for necklaces, and drawers for other items.

The box also has a hand-gilded mirror and is decorated with hand-carved Celtic knots, an intricate pattern of loops that have no start or finish and which represent friendship and love.  Darren also tied the leather drawer pulls into Celtic knots to match the carvings.

The Richard Demarco Prize 2018 was awarded to John Grillo, a former business intelligence analyst from Denver, Colorado. 

The prize is awarded by the celebrated arts commentator to the student whose work not only displays design and woodworking skill but exceptional artistic talent.

The prize was specifically awarded for John’s round dining table, made from some 40 pieces of intricately-cut walnut, with a dozen pieces of pepperwood veneer to form a simple, flowing yet geometrically-complex design.

Lastly, The Chippendale Society Award, given this year to mark the 300th birthday of Thomas Chippendale, was won by Vanessa Johnston from Seattle.

Vanessa was awarded the prize Dr Adam Bowett, chairman of the Chippendale Society, for the quality of her craftsmanship and design and the coherence of her wych elm and olive ash furniture collection, which includes a table, bedside tables, chair, and an intricate clock.

“Each year the quality of our students’ work seems to get better and better and this year has been no exception,” said Anselm Fraser, Chippendale school principal.

To find out more about the School, the courses and their fees on offer, see
The Chippendale International School of Furniture website.