Spring is truly in the air and hopefully on the horizon – and students at the Chippendale International School of Furniture are back in the workshop too!
 
Below, former student Andreas Gurnter shares what he's been up to since graduating, and in the latest blog for the Fine Furniture Guild website, graduate Mike Whittall, who recently gave an inspiring talk to students on his top tips for setting up a successful furniture making business. Mike's tips are practical, helpful and worth their weight in gold.
 
With the world on the verge of opening up again, there's never been a better time to think about your future career. There are still a final few remaining places on the popular Intermediate Course, so if you're thinking about booking a place, be sure to read on.

Student Stories – Andreas Gurtner

"The wood does not go my way, I go the way of the wood."
 
This intriguing quote from graduate and Fine Furniture Guild Maker Andreas Gurtner describes how the talented designer-maker uses the individuality of each piece of wood to guide his designs. Before joining the Chippendale School Professional Course, Andreas studied land and water management in the Netherlands, gaining special knowledge of natural resources and their beauty.
 
Andreas says: "During my studies of land and water management in the Netherlands, I discovered more and more my enthusiasm for the simplicity and the beauty of nature. I soon realised that the academic path would not give me enough expression. That thought led me to apply to the Chippendale International School of Furniture in Scotland after graduation.

 

 

 
 
"During this time I had the opportunity to learn traditional craft techniques from masters of various professions. In addition to manufacturing, restoring and designing furniture, I also got an insight into marquetry, gilding, carving and veneering - old techniques that are increasingly being forgotten."
 
Andreas crafted his stunning bespoke hardwood table (above) from native timber. Check out the Fine Furniture Guild here.

Celebrating a record number of women in woodworking

We are thrilled to have seen 50% of all enquiries so far in 2021 coming from women. Sarah Fraser, Chippendale School's marketing manager says:  
 
“More women are coming through the workshop doors – including myself! I joined the school’s leadership team in late 2020, taking a change of direction in my career following the birth of my daughter. We currently have six great women on the current Professional Course doing amazing work, not to mention those in our incubation hub who are building their businesses there.” 

 

 

 
 
Following International Women's Day 2021 in early March, the School decided to write the full story in their latest blog on how they are welcoming more women than ever into the woodworking industry.

Hurry – Intermediate Course places are filling up!

Are you ready to level up your woodworking skills? The Chippendale School's Intermediate Course will allow you to gain confidence in your ability to produce quality pieces in your woodworking hobby.
 
Students on the one-month course benefit from the undivided attention of the course tutor, as one of only two students. Places fill up fast, however, so please book now for courses in June, September or December 2021.

 

 

 
 
You'll learn all of the basic woodworking skills from seasoning timber to sharpening chisels and planes. By the end of the course, students will have made a unique hardwood table, ready to take pride of place in your home. Apply for the course here.

Top tips on setting up your business from a Chippendale School graduate

Having a successful corporate career spanning 25 years, working with some of the world’s largest organisations and then leaving it at your will to learn how to set up your own furniture making business. Trading inner-city skyscrapers for the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside may sound like a fairy tale, but this is exactly what Mike Whittall did. 

 

 

 
 
Mike joined the Chippendale School’s Professional Course in 2015 and is now the proud founder of Ochre & Wood, designers and makers of beautiful bespoke handmade furniture. 
 
The School spoke to Mike to find out his top tips on how to start a successful furniture business: 

Get in touch 

Do get in touch if you have any questions about studying with the School in the future or to request a prospectus. In addition to email and phone, you can talk ‘face-to-face’ via Zoom video call, or visit the website.