Inspiration for future woodworkers
The school draws inspiration from Thomas Chippendale, the world's most famous cabinetmaker and craftsman.
He was born in Otley, Yorkshire, in 1718, the only child of John, a joiner and Mary, the daughter of a stonemason.
Little is known about his early life, but it is believed he served a family apprenticeship and he was almost certainly employed by Richard Wood, a leading York cabinetmaker.
By 1748 he was established in London and in 1754 he produced the world’s most famous book on furniture: The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director.
There were over 3000 cabinetmakers in London and they couldn’t understand why Chippendale had given away all his trade secrets, but it was this book that turned him into a household name. While lots more people could now afford his designs, he continued to work for some of the UK’s richest people.
One of his most famous commissions was Dumfries House, the home of the Fifth Earl of Dumfries. It was designed by the Adam Brothers and Chippendale was the interior designer, filling it full of his famous rococo designs, said to be worth £18 million today.
After his death in 1779 his son Thomas carried on the family business until his bankruptcy in 1804. But his father’s work continues to inspire century furniture makers today.