ITV News West Country visited the Artichoke School of Furniture last week to report on the initiative. They interviewed course tutor Wilma Wyatt, Thao Kemp from Kings of Wessex Academy, Artichoke Director Andrew Petherick and several students.
Our vision at Artichoke is that English design and craftsmanship is still flourishing in 100 years, and that the industry is still able to create interiors admired by future generations. If you are a maker and you would like advice on how you can set up your own school, please get in contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to assist.
We are pleased to announce the second year of the Artichoke School of Furniture, an initiative we started in 2019 as a series of free evening courses for local school children.
The school’s aim is to introduce 16 and 17 year olds to woodworking. It’s grass roots aim is to inspire students and turn their lights on to craft as a future career.
For those we do inspire, we can help guide them with their next steps, whether it be working as an apprentice in our own workshops or by helping students apply for a scholarship through initiatives such as the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust
It takes a great deal of skill and knowledge to create interiors which will be admired in hundreds of years. The reason antiques exist today is because they were made properly many years ago, by skilled craftsmen and women who took care. They took the same care then as the Artichoke team do today, which is why our work for our clients will last centuries.
The foundation of the Artichoke School of Furniture goes a small way to help us build on these principles and to deliver our company vision, which is that in 100 years, English design and craftsmanship continues to flourish; creating interiors celebrated by future generations.
Our belief that we are creating Britain’s future heritage is not for everyone, and it will only suit clients with a certain mindset, budget and house. But for those who view passing their home down to the next generation in a better state that it was found in as being one of life’s greatest achievements, we should talk. It’s quite possible that one of Artichoke’s School of Furniture graduates may well have a hand in the work.
The 2021 course begins on 6th October and runs for 6 weeks.
The model for the Artichoke School of Furniture was developed by us to be simple so it can be rolled out by other makers also wishing to inspire young people in their local communities. If you are a cabinet maker or craftsperson, and you’re interested in rolling out our model into your own community, please contact us at email@example.com or call Andrew on +44 (0)1934 745270.
You can see our Artichoke School of Furniture Graduates 2019 here.
At Artichoke we believe what we do enhances people’s lives. Our vision is that in 100 years, English design and craftsmanship will have continued to flourish, and our interiors will be celebrated by future generations.
We count ourselves very fortunate to have found our craft, although much of the team have discovered Artichoke via rather circuitous routes. Among our ranks is an ex prison officer, an ex ad man and an ex paramedic. Despite our eclectic backgrounds, we are united in the belief that the skills we are lucky enough to have learned should be passed on.
To help realise our vision, we are delighted to be launching the Artichoke School of Furniture. A series of free introductory courses for Somerset teenagers, who are interested in learning the basic skills of furniture making. The aim of these courses will be to try and light the first spark of enthusiasm for cabinet making.
The initial five week pilot is being run for youngsters studying at the Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar, before being rolled out to the wider community. The course will be run by Artichoke cabinet makers Wilma and Inigo, and accompanied by Kai Holmes who teaches Design Technology at the Kings of Wessex Academy . The students will be in excellent hands.
Wilma completed the one year Williams and Cleal furniture course before joining Artichoke in 2018. Prior to this she was a Prison Officer in Bristol. Inigo began his furniture journey in France, first as a restorer in Paris before completing his apprenticeship at La Bonne Graine. He eventually began his own furniture making business while simultaneously running evening classes for French teenagers.
Learning the skills which which make our our craft so compelling is hugely fun, but we cannot run a course like this without a great set of tools. We are particularly grateful to the amazing team at Axminster Tools who have generously provided our students with the use of the most amazing starter kit any budding maker could wish for.
We have great hopes for the Artichoke School of Furniture, which first started as a gem of an idea in 2017 and has largely been driven by our production manager, John Hampton, a deeply passionate and committed craftsman. We have since been notified of other organisations also looking at grass routes education. The Carpenter’s Company, of which our company founder Bruce Hodgson is a member, has a long tradition of delivering high quality education training in building crafts and building conservation. The Furniture Maker’s Company, a livery company dedicated to supporting furniture making trade in numerous ways is also hugely proactive in this area. We hope our combined efforts help us achieve our vision.
The first course starts in April 2019, and we can’t wait to report on our first Students’ progress! We will report back.
To see some of the stunning work we have completed please click here.