There is so much you can do with woodworking and furniture making skills, especially as our course trains you to a very high standard, but generally there are two main paths you can take once you graduate: employed, or self-employed.
If you’re interesting in being self-employed and starting your own business, we provide plenty of information and support to help you achieve this. We can help you decide what kinds of pieces to make, whether you’ll go more bespoke or more commercial, and figure out where you’ll get your clients and customers. We can also help you with opportunities to exhibit at various shows as well as enter competitions which can help to get your name out there.
If you’re looking for a job as a maker working for someone else’s business, we are pleased to have connections with commercial workshops that are always looking for well-trained makers. We’ll help you find a role that suits you, prepare for the interview, and train you in any specific techniques you might need to know.
You can tailor your course with us to suit whichever path you want to take, specialising in different skills or materials and learning more about what your work life will look like once you graduate. Take a look at some of our graduate interviews to find out about what kinds of things our previous students have gone on to do.
Laurent Peacock, self employed
After graduation I worked with Marc for a few months on his Vortex table. This was a great opportunity as I was able to gain further experience working on high-end laminated pieces whilst also affording me access to the workshop in my spare time in which I could develop further design ideas and conduct materials experiments without the immediate pressure to become ‘commercial’. This period was very useful for me and some of the materials I produced samples for at that time have gone on to feature in some of my more recent exhibition pieces. I eventually bit the bullet though and set myself up as a sole trader towards the end of 2017, moving to a shared workshop with a couple of other RHS graduates and starting work on my first major private commission.
Since going it alone I’ve worked on a combination of private commissions and speculative pieces for exhibition. At present, I have a couple of different strands that I’m developing in my practice. One strand is commissioned pieces, which are one-offs and informed to varying degrees by the input of the client with whom I’m working. A second strand involves producing some simpler designs in small batches, often featuring unusual surfaces, textures or materials that I’ve developed, to sell through exhibitions or via galleries/retailers in future, but typically at lower price points than the bespoke pieces command. A third strand is the potential application of my surfaces away from my own finished furniture pieces. I’ve had interest from a range of interior designers, architects, property developers and commercial clients about possible direct applications for these surfaces and hope to be able to unveil some interesting projects soon.
Simon Robson, self-employed
I would say start out with a small company and learn the basics of commercial furniture and the process of making. Once you have this sorted out then venture out on your own, as you’ll stumble along the way and every day is a learning curve. I worked for a few good makers that were established and gained experience making commercial and bespoke furniture. I then set up my own company and do bespoke and commercial work.
Commercial work as this pays the bills. If a client requests a bespoke item than it’s great to get that kind of work, it’s always a pleasure working with and influencing a client with what will work in their home.
Examples of students who have gained employment in the industry:
Click the images to expand/zoom.
Alex Pope at Silverlining Furniture
Since leaving us Alex has become the second student to gain employment with Wrexham based Silverlining – catering for the mega rich working mainly in the super yacht arena.
They are multi disciplined company working marquetry, leather work, cabinet making, 3DCAD assisted manufacture and have adopted an innovative finishes strategy. Their work is world renowned.
Our own James Dayman who is employed by Marc to make his work and help tutor students, worked for Silverlining for 7 years.
James Dabell at Silverlining Furniture
Like Alex, James gained employment with the world renowned Silverlining.
Silverlining have now taken two of our ex-students and are keen to work with us in the future as their workforce grows. They currently have some 40 craftsman and still growing.
They appreciate our rigorous training structure, creative approach and find our students quick to adapt to their working preferences. Read about Silverlining and James here.
Luke Olney at Sebastian Cox
After leaving us five years ago Luke achieved his dream job with Richard Williams Furniture. After he completed three years with Richard he returned to ‘robinson house studio’ and did a short stint working on Marc’s personal pieces.
Luke was then able to secure a coveted job with environmentalist Sebastian Cox, a rising star in the furniture making world.
Peter Oates at Brown and Harman
Peter joined us slightly later in life after a career in an unrelated field. He had always wanted to train to be a cabinet maker and the time never seemed right for him. Peter finally took the plunge and being slightly older worried about getting work locally. However, he has had no difficulty securing a job with Lewes based Brown and Harman.
Fabio Guselli and Danny Maddock at Millimetre
Both Danny and Fabio trained under Marc and robinson house studio after working for Marc for a period they are now employed at Brighton based Millimetre. Where they are involved in an interesting variety of architectural, sculptural and furniture based products.
Millimetre’s work does not get any more diverse, this is a company that is definitely going places.
Alex Whelan-Clough and Tom Darby at Marc Fish
Both Alex and Tom did a 50 week course at robinson house studio and upon ‘graduating’ they both joined Marc’s talented team and set to work creating his designs. Their work for Marc has been displayed all over the globe from Miami to China.
Alex particularly works on Marc’s Ethereal range, see more details here: marcfish.com/marc-fish-gallery.html
Chris Coane at Studio Hardy and self-employed.
Chris completed our 50 Week course after studying to be a product designer, he wanted to further develop his skills since university and gain a more hands-on approach in furniture making.
Chris has worked for the TV star Will Hardy of Studio Hardy. Will can be seen on George Clarke’s amazing spaces. Chris also runs his own furniture making business from Will’s workshop in Lewes working on a variety of projects.
Charlie Laughton at Based Upon
Charlie joined us after doing a 9 month course at The Chippendale School of Furniture Making. He was looking to refine his basic skills and get a better understanding of the design process. Since leaving us he has found employment at Based Upon in London. This is a great opportunity for Charlie as Based Upon is one of the UK’s most exciting workshops producing art works using innovation and mixed materials.
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