Furniture restoration courses
Furniture restoration is integral to our 30-week furniture course
One the things that marks our woodworking course out as being better than other woodworking courses is our focus on antique furniture restoration. Throughout the year students will learn about restoration and, most importantly, will undertake their own furniture restoration projects. Over the 30-week course each student will restore three genuine pieces of antique furniture. One week of every term is set aside for these projects and we supply the furniture.
Practical Woodwork: Satisfying the Customer
Very early in his career Anselm discovered that over-polishing restoration pieces did not satisfy clients because it removed character. On our woodworking courses, students learn how to bring a piece of furniture back to life while maintaining its patina (which Anselm describes as being “the scratches in the wood under the polish, the scratches in the polish and the smudges and dirt in the wax above the polish”). We consider it to be a very important, highly-challenging skill to learn.
A New Perspective
Furthermore, in a recent survey of past and present students we discovered that, while many people came here with a general desire to ‘do a woodworking course’ or ‘do a furniture making course’, over 90% said they left with genuine interest in furniture restoration. Of course ‘doing woodwork’ and ‘making furniture’ are at the very core of our programme; that is why we offer more practical bench time than any other school we know of. However, it is interesting to note how captivating furniture restoration becomes for so many people.
Part of the reason is our history lessons are unique. Far from sitting in a classroom listening to dry lectures we encourage students to unpick history, literally. We take pieces apart and put them back together using original techniques. Learning historical techniques in this way gives an excellent practical base for utilising a range of skills in the future, while for those with more of a design focus, furniture restoration will influence, inspire and crucially, inform originality.