RHS student benefits!From top-dollar guest lecturers in the industry to eye-popping exhibition visits, we make sure there’s plenty of food for thought along the way.
how we're different
Unlike many other furniture courses, ours lasts a full 50 weeks, with two weeks off in December. This means that you can really make the most of your time with us, and get in as much practice and making time as possible. Students can take time off for holiday, or just work though the course.
We have a focus on modern techniques, and on using many different materials. We have a strong focus on design and the studio has a reputation of experimentation and progression of mixed materials. We teach students material science in order to expand their knowledge on how to use other materials with wood.
Marc makes his work in the same studio as the students are learning and working on their own projects, which means students get the opportunity to work alongside a professional furniture designer selling his work to a discerning international clientele.
We strive to give students the best quality and most well-rounded education we can, so we bring in various guest lecturers who have expertise in certain subjects. Charlie Whinney teaches a steam bending course, where students learn all about the ancient process of heating wood with steam in order to manipulate its form. Mark Anstee is also a guest lecturer, providing a six-part drawing course in order to help students to sketch out their designs.
One of the benefits of being based in Newhaven is the proximity to London, which means we are able to take students to various London exhibitions. The exhibitions we visit change each year depending on the dates and our schedule. Some of the exhibitions we’ve visited with students in the past include PAD London, Design Junction, London Design Fair, Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, Masterpiece, and Collect.
We like to take students out of the workshop from time to time, in order to visit other makers and learn new practices, as well as to teach them how to source their materials for future work. We regularly visit the Edward Barnsley Workshop so students can learn about their work and get an insight into a professional workshop. Other trips vary from year to year, but in the past we have visited Yannick Chastang, who specialises in restoration and conservation.
We also take students to visit a timber yard and veneer suppliers, in order to show them how to process works and how to source materials. The students then go on to return to the suppliers independently as they work on their projects with us.
Being close to London means we are also able to take students to museums to expand their knowledge of furniture design, both its history as well as contemporary design. In the past we have visited the V&A museum and the Tate Modern in London as they provide a wealth of inspiration for the students’ own designs.
We have also visited the materials library, compiled by the Institute of Making with UCL, which has a vast collection of all kinds of materials. Outside of London, we have also visited the Arts and Crafts museum in Cheltenham, which holds a collection on the arts and crafts movement in Britain.
Many of our students have won awards, including 2017 graduate Laurent Peacock, who won a Guild Mark for a piece he made while with us. Marc and Theo are now on the judging panel for the Guild Mark award and are both award-winners themselves, so they can provide insight into what goes into an award-winning piece.
We also exhibit annually at the New Designers show in London, which exhibits work from new designers and graduates from various schools and universities. We are always looking for excellent student work for exhibit in the future.
Plus, we have a private alumni Facebook group for our graduates. We regularly update this group with job opportunities and commissions when we are made aware of them, in order to help ex-students to find work after they leave us.