students' gallery

Our students create a variety of personal projects - here are just a few of our past students' work and testimonials. We try very hard to get student's creativity flowing and the results are shown here, their diversity and individual style is something we are very proud of.

Chris Funnell

chris funnell red acrylic wenge cabinet

Red acrylic and wenge cabinet..

Adam_Attewell_cabinet

Bubinga, vavona burr veneer, rippled sycamore and suede.

Adam_Attewell_cabinet

Rippled maple and linen upholstered seat.

 

When Chris came to us after 20 years of making furniture, he wanted to create the kind of furniture he had dreamed of. After a 40 week course Chris has set up his own business and you can view his work at www.chrisfunnell.co.uk.

Chris has assisted Marc with Nautilus, Mollusque and Babel projects, and is now a permanent employee of 'robinson house studio'
"Furniture design, innovation and experimentation played a key part in my development for designing and making furniture whilst studying with Marc Fish" Chris Funnell 2010

 

Chris has been awarded a Certificate of Merit from The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and won Furniture & Cabinet Making Magazine/Triton Tools Student Woodworker of the Year.

 

Roi Klifi

padauk tamo ash veneer

padauk tamo ash veneer

Black MDF drinks cabinet

 

Adam Attewell

Adam_Attewell_low_table

Adam Attewell low table in sycamore and bronze..

Adam_Attewell_cabinet

Adam Attewell Credenza pear and fumed oak.

 

Spending a year at Robinson House Studio instilled a confidence in my ability as a craftsman. I chose to come do a course instead of taking a more conventional approach to higher education like University.

It helped me to develop a unique set of skills that I can take into starting a career as a maker.The Robinson House Studio approach to furniture and cabinetmaking is unique, as most people who choose the course know. The basic fundamentals are covered in the first few months. What I feel set it apart was the freedom I was given once I gained these skills and where I was encouraged to take them. Students are spurred to branch out from traditional furniture and experiment with the multitude of materials available to us these days. I felt the course was extremely productive. The school itself runs from 9-5 however the workshop itself is often open earlier and closes later as students begin to dig their teeth into their personal projects. I spent many weekends and late evenings at the workshop and quickly gained a passion for making that I knew I had but had never been given quite the facilities and skills to explore.
The team of craftsmen are there to help along the way with decades of industry experience and always seem to be able to help solve any problem.
My time at the studio has given me a steadfast base on which I can now continue to develop my own identity as a designer and a craftsman in the future.

 

Lubica Patekova

Sally Banks Consolse table

Sputnik1 Stool 4000 year old bog oak.

Sally Banks Low table

N23 Desk in walnut, dyed maple and brass

Sally Banks Low table

N21 table in stainless steel and smoked glass

 

This September, I had completed one year of furniture design and maker’s diploma at Robinson House Studio (Marc Fish) at Brighton.

Prior to embarking the course, my background experience and academics was in architecture. I had graduated from Slovak University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava with a Master’s in Architecture and soon after worked in various architectural practises in UK. I had spent three years as an architectural assistant at Leonard Design Architects and a year at CPMG architects in Nottingham.
Working in these architectural practises had been exciting; enlightening and had progressed my architectural career further, however, I was ready to dive into unknown territory and obtain new experiences. Hence, I joined Marc Fish studio – furniture making atelier which allowed me greater artistic freedom and expression. Having worked on projects that area much more of a human scale has given me deeper understanding of design, techniques, materiality and the significance of having a vision and being able to translate it into a tangible form.

 

Luke Humphrey

Ebony Box Luke Humpfrey detail

Box in solid ebony, coloured glass, and leather.

 

Nigel Rose

Nigel Rose Spider Table Spider table detail

Spider table in walnut & glass.

I completed a short course with Marc with a specific aim of defining how to turn a long standing idea into reality. However what I came away with was much more than I ever expected.

This is partly due to Marc's philosophy and the fact that the teaching room is part of a busy working design/woodwork studio - design is in the air all around you.
It wasn't just the hard aspects of woodwork technique and his exacting standards, but the soft elements of design: influences, materials, textures and finishes. I soon realised that I had taken a conventional linear design/make approach: settle on a design, select the wood, make and finish it. I wasn't expecting my design approach to be challenged, not because it was wrong but had I considered alternatives? I saw all sorts of other materials being used, even a fish skin. I realised that I don't have to make everything just in wood.
My outcome? The course confirmed that I was happy with the overall design, but I changed the way to make it. More importantly I included some other design/finish elements to raise the overall design and visual impact. The course changed my design direction and improved my workmanship. The table now exists and indeed graces the homes of a number of friends.

 

Ola Leander

 

Desk in walnut, paint, and steel

I had been working in construction for almost ten years when I decided to steer towards furniture. After having done that for a few years, I reached a plateau. I did not develop my skills as I had hoped to. Deciding to change this,

Deciding to change this, I started looking for courses to aid in furthering my skills and confidence.
As I am very design oriented in my approach to furniture, my style being more mid-century modern than anything, I was a bit disheartened at what I found, until I found Marc Fish.
Looking around his website, reading testimonials and info, I decided to give him a call. After a brief chat I decided to go for it. I knew this was right for me. And the 12 week course was perfect in length for me.
I did not even visit before hand to check it out. School was never my cup of tea, so I was a bit nervous going down there. On day one however, I realised Marc's way of teaching is adaptive, attentive, open-minded and knowledgeable. I quickly 'de-plateaued', and started learning, expanding not only my skills as a maker and designer, but also my mind. I have now almost finished setting up my own workshop, and joining me in this are two out of my three good friends who did the course with me. The only reason the third one isn't is because the commute between Australia and East London is horrendous. I can not recommend Marc Fish and his course highly enough. If you can and want to learn about furniture making and design, go for Marc Fish

www.olaleander.com

 

Neil Davies

Wenge stool Neil Davies

Pair of stools in wenge and dyed veneer.

Bedside cabinets Neil Davies

Bedside cabinets in oak and walnut.

Stainless steel table Neil Davies

Stainless steel and glass low table.

 

Simon Robson

Simon walnut table

Side table in walnut, bronze and bog oak.

Martin_walnut_writing_slope

TV unit in walnut and ash.

I wanted to take the chance to say that it's been a steep learning curve that I took, and I questioned it constantly. I truly can say that without the style of teaching, the passion and the knowledge you offer and the patience you have, I would have not been where I am now. I really enjoyed the time I spent in the studio and it will be sadly missed, however it's now onwards and upwards.

www.71designs.com

 

Charlie Laughton

Martin_walnut_writing_slope

Bedside table in English Walnut and Aluminium

 

Martin Jelinek

Martin_walnut_writing_slope

Side/hall table in walnut, anigre, ebony.

Martin_walnut_writing_slope

Writing slope.

I started my 50 week course after nearly four decades working in I.T. I have always liked making things and a furniture creation course seemed like the ideal way to improve my skills and to do something I would really enjoy. Marc’s course appealed to me because

it not only promised to teach the skills and techniques required of working in wood, but also covered subjects such as marketing, setting up a workshop, exhibiting work, legal requirements, and other essentials for setting up my own business.
The course was all I hoped it would be and much more. Marc’s knowledge and teaching skills are first class and, because student sizes are quite small, you feel like you are getting ‘one to one’ tuition at times. The workshop is a busy one, with Marc’s own projects in progress, regular professionals renting bench space, more experienced students, and new students all contributing to the learning experience.
Marc’s standards are high and he encourages us to push ourselves beyond what we think we are capable of, both in our designs and the processes we use to achieve these. Not only did we gain the knowledge and skills to produce quality work and be able to progress into a professional environment, but the atmosphere was always warm and friendly and the whole course was a tremendous experience and a pleasure to be part of.

 

Sarah Christensen

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Upholstered oak chair with arm rest.

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fumed oak and yellow acrylic cabinet

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Deck chair in oak & concrete

 

James Linard

James_Linard_low_table

Low table oak and concrete..

James_Linard_box

Jewellery Boxes in American Walnut and Bog Oak..

 

I worked for many years in Theatre production, as a scenic artist. It was a very varied and interesting job in which I learnt

a lot about design and construction and developed a keen interest in furniture and interiors.
  This interest and my practical nature eventually lead me to explore carpentry further and after a week long course with David Savage in Devon, I was hooked!
I joined Robinson House Studio as a student 18 months ago. It is a vibrant and progressive workshop, where the passion and talent on hand is exceptional. The teaching of traditional carpentry hand skills and impeccable attention to detail is paramount but students are also encouraged to experiment with a multitude of materials.

 

Duncan White

Duncan_white_console_table

Console table in walnut, aluminium and glass..

I followed Marc's 12 week course and am delighted with what I learned and achieved. Marc is an excellent teacher. He is thorough and patient and adapts his advice well to the ability and confidence of each and every student.

In those hugely enjoyable 3 months my fellow students and I learned a phenomenal amount. Most significant for me was developing a far more intuitive ability to use hand tools: to feel the wood, how it reacts and how better to work it.
There was a plethora of new techniques too. Veneering, shaping through laminating and spindle moulding in particular opened a huge range of new opportunities for me. We covered all the essential power tools and now use them with confidence. I also spent time working an engineering lathe to produce metal components for one of my pieces.
There's a great atmosphere in the workshop. Students and teachers freely exchange information and ideas and give helpful feedback. Whilst you’re in the studio, you'll see Marc's own creations developing and pick up further invaluable knowledge on state-of-the-art techniques.
Marc emphasises design as a fundamental skill. Regular discussions of famous furniture designers' work as well as visits to museums, exhibitions and other workshops all added to our knowledge.
After the course I was fortunate to be able to rent workbench space in Marc's studio. This certainly helped my transition from the learning mode of the course to the faster tempo of a commercial life needed to develop my own budding business Avocet Furniture."

 

www.avocetfurniture.co.uk.co.uk

 

Christian Watson

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Christian Watson - Chair aluminum and leather

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Christian Watson - Sandblasted and scorched Oak low table

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Christian Watson - black suede drinks cabinet

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Desk - Walnut and leather

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Valet stand 4000 year old bog oak, bronze and leather.

Having left school to join the creative industry, I wasn’t sure where to start. After researching areas, I was interested in I found that Marc’s courses and ‘robinson house studio’

were exactly what I was looking for as I wanted to explore various elements of design within the industry. When I found Marc’s course online we had a long chat about what I can achieve within the course, what his work entails, his design philosophy and teaching method. It was an easy choice after that to sign up as the course undoubtedly offered more than other courses I found. It was that day that I signed up to the two-year course without any hesitation. Two years gave me the freedom to experiment, and design the pieces that I wanted to make. I would like to thank everyone at RHS for their dedicated support along the way, helping me achieve my goals. As I now pursue a career in furniture design, I am confident that my learning at RHS has put me in a great place for the future.

 

 

Jo Bailey

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Desk rippled sycamore and ebonised walnut

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Low table in harewood dyed veneers and ebonised walnut

 

Kris Lamba

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Kris Lamba - Coffee table in imbuia, bronze, rippled sycamore.

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Desk in fumed oak, leather and natural oak.

For me personally, conceiving and making furniture is about so much more than being a wood worker. I've always had a strong appreciation for design and after an informal chat with Marc,

it was clear that his course was far more design centric and forward thinking than the other options I had encountered.
During the year I learned countless new skills and processes, including several of the groundbreaking techniques Marc has developed whilst working on his personal projects. There is a strong focus on modern and mixed materials at 'robinson house studio' and for my first project I was able to utilise aluminum honeycomb, an aerospace material, within components of a jewellery box. I then followed this with a Bauhaus inspired coffee table design, which included supporting sections milled out of solid pieces of bronze.
Tradition is not ignored either, with the first few months being devoted to fine hand skills, finishing techniques, timber selection and design techniques. This is interwoven with regular lectures on important makers and subjects such as 3D CAD design and CNC milling.
As someone who hopes to have a future career in furniture design, I feel like Marc's tuition has left me in good standing to either obtain employment or to start my own business. Perhaps more importantly though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable twelve months and a truly life changing experience.

 

Visit Kris' new website to see more of his work.

www.krislamba.com

 

Thibaut Degenne

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Thibaut Degenne - Cigar humidor in rosewood, ebony, glass, Spanish cedar, and pau Amarillo

 

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Ariston - Drinking Cabinet (2013)
Khaya mahogany, honduras mahogany.
Aluminium, stainless steel and glass.

Coffee Table

Low table in dyed veneer.

My year course at Robinson House Studio has been a very valuable experience thanks to the high quality learning environment that Marc Fish offers to his students,

Marc adapts his teaching to each individual according to their skills and confidence, taking care of our progress with infinite patience. I found Marc's passionate approach to furniture design & making a vibrant artistic echo to explore my own creative expectations, and to turn my design ideas into consistent furniture pieces. I appreciated the flexibility of the structure, the quality of the machines and the true support from a complementary and experienced staff. Inspiring, serious and dedicated would describe the courses offered at 'robinson house studio'.

 

 

Matthew Wills

Matthew Wills Box on Table

Box on Table in walnut and quilted maple.

I had long considered a course in furniture making, and when the opportunity arose I selected a 12 week course at Robinson House Studio, which I was later able to extend by a further 6 weeks.

The course is one of intensive instruction in the skills of making to the very highest of standards, but with an emphasis on the value of good design. Essential core hand skills and traditional techniques are taught, but there is also a good eye kept on innovation and the varied use of materials, and the workshop is well equipped to allow this. There is always encouragement to experiment , and I loved the approach of if you don’t know how something will turn out, try it, see what happens and learn.
Design discussion is encouraged at every step, including studies of designers and makers of the past and present, as well as various group visits to exhibitions and shows as they arise. 'robinson house studio' is a fantastic teaching environment due to the mix of makers renting bench space and working on their own projects, as well as Marc’s own projects taking shape in the workshop for all to see and learn from.
On completion of the course, I was also able to rent bench space in the workshop which was a great opportunity to finish projects and get organised before moving to my own workshop in London. The fact that there is always so much going on in the studio gives the place an air of infectious enthusiasm, and I would absolutely recommend time spent at 'robinson house' to anyone considering a path in furniture design and making.

 

www.willsfurniture.com

 

Charlie Hibbins

chess board

chess board, walnut, rippled sycamore, douka. Pieces turned copper and stainless steel.

 

Michel Tellings

 

Michel Tellings Box

 

 

Michel Tellings Box

Desk Zebrano and rosewood .

"Coming from a business background I was a complete newcomer to woodworking and cabinet-making.  Enrolling on Marc Fish's training program was

a bit of a leap in the dark mainly inspired by my wish to create something by using traditional techniques.  After having completed the basic training in cabinet-making, I was looking for a project that would require the use of a broad range of traditional skills.  The (computer) desk that I designed  required such a broad range of skills: veneer cutting, veneering, book matching, dovetails, drawer fitting, surfacing finishing.  The  'angled' legs of the desk created a major challenge since the non-straight angles are repeated in the drawers sides and in the dovetails.  The desk is made of Indian rosewood, African Zebrano veneer, and patinated copper at the inside of the drawer fronts. The drawer bottoms and drawer sides are constructed from Cedar and Lemonwood respectively.  Albeit that this project required a lot of perseverance and concentration I found it enjoyable and a useful practice for my cabinet-making skills.

 

 

Martin Bell

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Box with herringbone pattern in wenge.

As a joiner with a background in design, I have always loved to make things, having an idea and bringing it to life, often then deciding that I could have made it slightly better if I just tweaked it a little here and there.

I first met Marc for an informal interview at 'robinson house studio' and was immediately impressed with his passion and open approach to making and, importantly, teaching. I committed to a twelve-week course covering the fundamentals of cabinet making.
On the face of it joinery and cabinet making essentially follow the same principles.
Traditionally the tools are the same, wood is cut, glued, screwed or nailed. Training with Marc challenged all of my preconceived ideas on woodworking, opening up what I thought was achievable. Over the 12 weeks we covered all the basics, giving me the opportunity to readdress my technique at each stage of making. This was extremely rewarding, and my confidence grew as my knowledge of design and technique improved. One of the most significant changes to the way I worked was that my level of observation became attuned to that of a cabinet maker - an essential skill if you want to produce work to a professional standard.
Students progress to designing and making a piece of furniture in the latter stages of the course and I made a small jewellery box from wenge. A difficult timber to work, but the end result was visually exciting to look at. The box incorporated shop made veneer cut into strips and set to form a chevron pattern that wraps itself across the face and top of the box. All joints were then mitred. Challenging but rewarding.
I set out on my career as a cabinet maker, deciding how to progress, what work I would like to do, and how I become successful. The benefit of training with Marc in a professional environment has given me the insight I need to shape my own future, with a clear plan and a belief that I can succeed in what I want to achieve.

 

www.facebook.com/bellfurniture

 

Andy Wooldridge

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Low table in ash, walnut & ebony.

 

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Rippled sycamore box with pear tray.

At 'robinson house studio' I can attest to the excellent teaching and to the high standard of skills acquired on the course.

I learned how to use hand tools with a high degree of accuracy and how to use all of the main pieces of workshop machinery, as well as other tools, both safely and accurately. Developing these skills, whilst studying design theory and materials science, formed the key components of the course during the initial six months. With little experience prior to the course it was challenging to reach a high standard in all of the above but Marc and his team were always approachable, no matter how busy, and their continual support and guidance enabled me to achieve those standards.
The second six months (project stage) were equally as challenging as my skills and understanding were put to the test in every way.
The course put at my disposal everything I needed to succeed, within the constraints of the time available. Commitment to succeed, perseverance and hard work were essential though.
In summary, the workshop is a good learning environment and it’s an excellent course; what you take from it, however, will depend largely upon the time and effort you put in.

 

Alexis Parissis

Alexis Parissis student at Marc Fish Studio

"I live in Australia and my options for learning furniture making are limited, but after discovering Marc I felt it was my best option to travel to the UK....

Attending the 12 week course was the best way to push both my practical and design skills forward within a limited timeframe.
'robinson house studio' provided a unique balance of both students and established furniture designers/makers all equally passionate about furniture.

Marc's wealth of knowledge, high standards and adaptive teaching style meant that everyone on the course managed to achieve a high level of skill and accuracy with their work. The workshop is about as close as you can get to a real professional environment, with the support and direction of both Marc, Chris and the other resident makers.

One of the most valuable outcomes from the 12 week course was it challenged the idea of what is “furniture”, pushing the boundaries and giving me the confidence to produce work that utilizes non traditional approaches in both design and materials. (Although nothing beats producing a wood shaving at 1000th of an inch with a hand plane!)

The 12 week course is with out question one of the best and most challenging things I have undertaken. It has provided me with a solid grounding to progress to the next level within a profession where you never stop learning and honing your skills. The progressive nature of 'robinson house studio' also gave me the added confidence that the skills, knowledge and techniques I acquired where at the forefront of the industry."

 

Gary Adams

Gary_Adams_dressing_table

Dressing table in rippled sycamore..

Having spent most of my working life as a draughtsman drawing fitted furniture I always knew I wanted to learn how to make furniture to the highest standard possible.

I decided to start with a taster course of one week and soon realised robinson house studio certainly teaches that and a lot more! I then enrolled on a 20 week course with the hopes that my passion for fine furniture, and my newfound skills, would see my career take a new path. Some time ago, when studying for an HND in design, a tutor told me - we are never happier than when we are being creative; as a student at rhs I was reminded just how true that is. The skills and attention to detail exhibited by Marc and his team are truly inspirational. It is these finer aspects of furniture making I am particularly grateful to have been exposed to. The tuition offers not only the highest level of furniture making lessons but invaluable advice and support in marketing, industry connections and even how to work with suppliers and choose your materials. Marc's coaching is professional, patient and friendly. It has gone above and beyond the course program. I worked for a number of weeks renting a bench at rhs, after the course ended, and this gave me the opportunity to increase my confidence before going it alone in a workshop elsewhere. I am delighted I took the plunge and became a student; my only regret is that I didn't do it years ago!

 

Gary has been awarded a Certificate of Merit from The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers

Gary is now employed at www.edmondsoninteriors.co.uk

 

Dan Ryder Cook

Dan Ryder Cook Clock

Clock in Walnut, wire and aluminium..

Dan Ryder Cook table

Clock in Walnut, wire and aluminium..

During my time at Robinson house studio I learnt how to combine traditional making techniques with modern design.

My projects included; a cherry jewellery box, a stack laminated walnut coffee table which was shot-blasted for a textured finish, and a Naum Gabo inspired Grandfather clock constructed using walnut veneer lamination with Aluminium and Steel Metalwork. The understanding of materials and design developed during my course is something I deeply value and will draw upon throughout the rest of my working life. When I first started at in the workshop my imagination was fired by the introduction to a huge variety of designers and techniques. Through the construction of my projects I came to realise that you can make almost anything you can imagine.  Studying at Robinson house studio was a wonderful experience and has been a catalyst for me to embark on a career in architecture and design. I am very thankful to Marc and his excellent team of Chris, Danny and Theo for helping me in realising that dream I am delighted I took the plunge and became a student; my only regret is that I didn't do it years ago!

 

Darren Hancock

Darren_Hancock

Record turntable cabinet in walnut and birch..

I joined 'robinson house studio' on the fifty-week course with a real desire to get hands-on making experience and to build-up a portfolio of projects that would take me onto the next step as a designer/maker.

Marc and the RHS team had an incredible amount of time and knowledge to give and it was really special to have my own bench and learn in an environment amongst industry professionals and like-minded individuals willing to push boundaries, experiment and just 'have a go'.
The course itself offers a vast variety of subjects and experiences from sourcing materials through timber yard visits, learning how to use hand tools with control and precision, in-depth training on workshop machinery and working in a professional workshop environment, design and making from conception to construction, visits to the studios and workshops of other design professionals, along with weekly lectures on design critique and running a designer/maker business.
Whilst at RHS I have been able to really experiment and hone my skills to create some really rewarding pieces, including a walnut and birch cabinet - a sponsored commission for a client. My year in Newhaven will always hold very fond memories and I hope will mark the start of a very long career in making.

 

Rhys Gillard

Rhys_Gillard_Walnut_bench

Walnut Bench ..

After 10 years building scenery for theatre I decided to change careers and attended the 12 week fine furniture making course with Marc.

His friendly and chatty teaching style, along with the discussions between the other students, encouraged us to share ideas on furniture making and design as well as helping to push the boundaries of what we thought possible at the start of the course.
Marc set a high benchmark and expectations at the beginning of the course, and introduced the high standard of furniture making required, which is reflected in his own achievement of guild marks for his work.
Working in a workshop environment with full time furniture makers is a valuable resource. Their knowledge, along with Marc's teaching, gave me the courage to start my own workshop upon completion of the course. I am set up and running and have completed a few commissions

 

view Rhys's website here. www.rgfinefurniture.co.uk

 

Chris Coane

chris coane ebonised desk

Desk in ebonised oak, copper, and leather.

Chris Coane Chair

Sapele chair, see also desk above

Chris Coane Chair

Slide coffee table in oak & painted finish.

Chris Coane Chair

Red quartered cabinet in stained veneer and oak

Chris joined us after doing degree in product design. He was looking to get practical experience in the actual making of furniture. Chris has now started his own cabinet making business and started by renting a bench space from us. www.coaneandco.com

See more of Chris' work here.

 

Luke Olney

Box bog oak and sycamore

Box 5000 year old bog oak and sycamore.

Walnut media centre

Media centre in walnut and rippled sycamore.

Luke spent one year with us on our furniture design and making course. He left in June 2013 and with our help found employment with Richard Williams Furniture.

Prior to my time at robinson house studio I had worked as a carpenter both on site and in a workshop. I realised I wanted to pursue making bespoke fine furniture and felt that a course with Marc at the studio offered in-depth cabinet making tuition as well as the opportunity to explore design. It certainly proved to be an exciting environment to be a part of, with emphasis on contemporary design and the use of innovative new materials and techniques.

 

Gordon White

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Bedside cabinet - one of a pair in rippled sycamore.

Having worked in Software Engineering for a lifetime, I wanted to develop practical skills with tangible results and hopefully make something I could be proud of.

The course has provided me with an insight into the exacting standards necessary to create fine furniture and is equipping me with the key skills.
I have particularly enjoyed Marc's enthusiasm for the design elements, his encouragement to challenge traditional design and to be open to a breadth of inputs/influences.
Gordon joined our benchspace scheme after completing 12 + 20 weeks as a student. He has now left to share a workshop in Portslade with another previous student.

 

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Jack Poulter

Box ebony, walnut & leather

 

Tim Evershed

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Pair of boxes.

I was working at a luxury yacht building company when I decided I wanted to develop my hand skills, and after musing over a few different 12 week courses,

I decided that Marc’s looked the most comprehensive. When I went to visit the workshop for the first time, the high standard of student work, friendly faces, modern machinery and Marc’s passion and professionalism left a good impression so I signed up.
I knew absolutely nothing about furniture when I started, but I found the course super immersive and over 12 weeks I was introduced to a whole world of furniture making with visits to timber yards, furniture exhibits and even to see bog-oak being quarter sawn – in addition to watching my hand skills develop to a standard I never thought I could personally achieve. The course is heavily design-led and I found that things I learnt whilst studying Product Design at university were built upon and really started to make a lot more sense to me in this hands-on environment. After 12 weeks I feel I have enough knowledge and the practical skills to approach the challenge of developing my own design ideas from concepts through to a finished piece of furniture.
The course has left me feeling inspired and I’m currently in the process of setting up a new workshop in order to start my own business making furniture. However, I’m currently working at Bennett and Prewitt helping to make and fit high-end kitchens and the experience gained whilst being on the course is proving invaluable.

 

Richard Warmisham

Richard Warmisham bog oak pen box

Mont Blanc pen box in rippled bog oak, silver and sycamore.

Chest of drawers in fumed oak and red Corian

Chest of drawers in fumed oak and red Corian.

Folded ash low table

Folded ash low table

I came to furniture making later in life than most fellow students on my course. Having left a career in political research I signed up for the fifty week designer maker course .

to pursue a long held desire to make furniture. I did not have any design background or experience however, the course syllabus was extremely comprehensive with an emphasis on design history and movements. This aspect especially opened my eyes to many makers, designers, artists and architects and their work. The weekly homework sessions and Design Thursday discussions really helped to deepen my knowledge as well as find inspiration. From the outset the course was intensely stimulating with a great mix of classroom study, theory sessions, visiting lecturers, timber yard visits and of course, plenty of hands-on teaching from Marc. Marc’s attention to detail and quest for perfection drove us all on to produce some really impressive results. These ranged from dovetails and chopping boards to tray’s and boxes. The fully equipped workshop and comprehensive nature of the course meant that we covered modules as wide ranging as french polishing, laminating, MIG and TIG welding, composites and steam bending with Charlie Whinney.

Marc has a relaxed teaching style, this combined with his depth of knowledge, patience and enthusiasm meant everyone was able to develop at their own pace. The skills I have learnt enabled me to create a body of work that is ready to exhibit. I have been accepted to participate at the 2015 Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design which is credit indeed to the teaching at robinson house studio.

In addition to Marc, I would also like to thank Chris Funnell and Danny Maddock for the help and advice they gave me throughout the course. It was a pleasure to study fine furniture making at robinson house studio. I’ll miss the guys but do now feel prepared and excited for the next stage of my journey.

View Richards new website here www.madeby68.com.

 

Sally Banks

Sally Banks Consolse table

Oak twisted console table.

Sally Banks Low table

Blackened ash and bleached walnut low table..

 

After discovering a passion for woodwork I made the terrifying decision to pursue quite a dramatic career change. I visited several training providers but within a few minutes of being at RHS I knew that this was the workshop I needed to be in.

The creativity and diversity in the work being produced was incredible and the camaraderie between the students was clearly visible. Everyone in the workshop is there for different reasons. For some its a new career, for others its just a hobby but regardless of their intentions everyone there shares the same passion and pushes themselves the do the best they can. It is such an inspirational environment, I learned almost as much watching other student's projects develop as I did from my own. When you get caught up in a project there just aren't enough hours in the day. The year course enables you to learn and experiment with a variety of different techniques and materials on top of the set projects, external craftsmen are also invited in to teach specialist subjects. My two favourites were the steam bending and the french polishing. We were also taken on a number of field trips to furniture and design exhibitions, timber yards and designer maker studios which really helps expose you to the industry. The craftsmen working for Marc and the other tutors in the studio are amazing, they have such a wealth of experience that no question every goes unanswered. I've learned so much more than I ever anticipated and have come away with some beautiful pieces that I'm really proud of. I've made some great friends at RHS and I hope that our paths cross again later in our careers.