Protecting traditional artisan skills

Nurturing creative talent

It takes a great deal of skill to create interiors that will be admired in hundreds of years.

The reason antiques exist today is that they were made properly years ago, by skilled craftsmen who took care.

 

They took the same care then as we do today when making our clients’ interiors, which is why our work will last centuries and why it is guaranteed for life.

Image of artichoke and period house
Image of hand touching period feature

 

For many, along with the great privilege of owning a fine period house, comes a feeling of responsibility. Many owners, as custodians of the property, take great care to devote appropriate attention to preserve the work of previous generations and to ensure that future generations will admire any renovations or additions.

Our clients are prepared to invest in the highest quality materials and the finest craftsmanship to grant their home justice.

We help those who relish the idea of passing a building down to the next generation in a better state than it was found and make training artisans of the future as part of our contribution.

Nurturing Creative Talent

As well as being committed to building Britain’s future heritage we are committed to nurturing creative talent.

With the Artichoke School of Furniture, a free initiative based around Cheddar for local school-aged children, we aim to inspire young people who may not have had the opportunity to explore their creative and practical potential in their experience of a narrowing and academically focused curriculum.

 

We also hold an annual Makers’ Conference at west country venues with the aim of assisting student designer makers and young furniture start-up companies in the business aspects of running furniture and cabinet making ventures.

Image of artichoke founder
image of wooden furniture close up

 

The foundation of the Artichoke School of Furniture  goes a small way in helping us deliver our own company vision, which is that in 100 years, English design and craftsmanship continues to flourish; creating interiors celebrated by future generations.

Our founder Bruce Hodgson sits on the advisory board of the Building Crafts College – a specialist stone masonry, construction and carpentry college situated in London.  Founded by the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in 1893, the Building Crafts College has a long tradition of delivering high quality education training in building crafts and building conservation.

Bruce’s links with this highly regarded college provide a natural follow on from the Artichoke School of Furniture.

About The Artichoke School of Furniture

The Artichoke School of Furniture was founded in 2019 as a series of free evening courses for local school children.

The principle aim of our school is simple – to inspire young people who, through their experience of a narrowing and academically focused curriculum, may not have had the opportunity to explore their creative and practical potential.

 

We take on eight pupils a year and teach them the basics in hand tools whet their appetite towards considering craft as a career.  We then can assist our students in how to undertake their next steps on their training path.

Image of artichoke school of furniture
Image of finished woodwork artichoke school of furniture

 

Our ambition is to highlight to them that there is a wide range of artisan skills and crafts which are highly valued and appreciated and from which a successful career can be carved.

Following the course, we are happy to support those who are interested in developing skills further. With our experience and connections, we can help point them in the right direction, whether it be working as an apprentice in our own workshops or helping them apply for a scholarship through the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

Read about the school in our Journal

About The New Makers' Conference

Artichoke Makers’ Conference is an annual event that brings together experienced furniture designers and makers with those who are just starting out.

Our focus is on educating students and business start-ups on how new enterprises begin and grow, exploring routes from training into business, and how to achieve results with effective marketing, exhibiting, and retailing.

 

We share stories and teach lessons from those who have been in the industry for many years and from those who have recently begun with lots of practical advice on how to survive the first five years.

Next event

Image of Reosie Hodgson Furniture Maker
Image of maker hand tool and curved staircase

 

The first Makers Conference event took place in Cheddar, Somerset on the 25th of February 2022 and was attended by over 65 furniture students and start up furniture makers who, amongst other things, listened to excellent advice on some of the pitfalls our speakers faced and how they might be avoided.

Read more

Following on from the success of last year’s event, the second event is now booked for 2nd of June 2023 and is hosted in collaboration with the Furniture Makers’ Company.  It will take a similar format to last year but with new inspirational speakers and a new venue – the Wells & Mendip Museum in Wells, Somerset.

Book your tickets. or find out more.

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