School of Furniture. Our First Graduates.

The pilot course for the Artichoke’s first free School of Furniture is now complete, and it’s been incredibly rewarding for both the students, and us.

The principle aim of our school is simple.  Can we turn teenager’s ‘lights on’ to craft?  It is a simple, grass roots objective.

We set the school up to help inspire any children who either may be curious about craft (but have never experienced it first hand), or perhaps those who are not being fully engaged by the subjects covered in the standard school curriculum.

Our first group of students focusing hard on their work.

While we still have lots to learn about how to run courses for teenagers, we are thrilled that not only all our students left having achieved the course goal (to make the wooden puzzle below), but they also left inspired (and with all of their fingers!).

wooden puzzel
A completed wooden puzzle, made by one of our students.

One student in particular is now exploring a career in furniture making following his time with us.  For that alone we really couldn’t be prouder and we look forward to helping inspire him and others further over the years.

Artichoke cabinet makers and course tutors Wilma and Inigo with one of our course students. Peter.

Special thanks must go to Artichoke makers Wilma and Inigo, and also to our production manager John, for their enthusiasm in taking up the challenge to set the course up and teach our first students.  We’d also like to thank Axminster Tools for their enthusiasm and generosity in providing our students with great hand tools to use during the course.  And last but not least, thanks have to go to Kai Holmes who teaches design technology at the Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar for providing such a great group of children to teach (and for also helping steer us through the minefield that is children’s education).

Other blog posts on how the school was set up can be found below.  If you are a furniture maker and would like to set up a school yourself, we’d be delighted to invite you here to meet our course manager and course tutors and share what we’ve learned so far.

The Artichoke School of Furniture

Creating Britain’s Future Makers