Class of January 2014
The Woodworking Skills Class of January 2014 were the first group to occupy the new, extended woodworking shop. It is a bright, sunny room. Instructor Will Reed says the people in the class were bright and sunny to teach. ‘They were interested and interesting’ he says, ‘Demanding, but in a very positive way’. Student Steve Huckvale took three days out to join the GRP Repairs short course and Graeme Furniss jumped ship to join the 38 week Boat Building course, but all completed the course and their personal project pieces. It was a pleasure to work with them.
After working in IT for 34 years David decided it was time for a change. He relocated to the Lyme Regis area and decided to do something practical. He joined the 12 week Woodworking Skills course because he wanted to learn high quality skills in a relatively short period of time. After the course David will ‘build things’ in his workshop and is keen to restore his classic MG. He also has a collection of vintage garden machinery, including a collection of Allen Scythes which he uses for cutting the hay in his paddock, which he will renovate. As his personal project piece David designed and made a tool box.
Janie graduated with a degree in 3D Art and Design from Colchester School of Art as a mature student. She works as a sculptor and arts administrator. Janie joined the course to improve the quality of her work with wood and is planning large scale sculptures for exhibiting outdoors. Janie is particularly interested in steam bending and laminating with oak, to increase the longevity of her sculptures in the British climate.
Mark worked as a commercial pilot before moving to Devon with his wife. His parents-in-law came across the Boat Building Academy while visiting Lyme Regis and told Mark about the 12 week Woodworking Skills course. Mark is really enjoying working with wood and is looking forward to a new career in joinery and furniture making. For his student project piece Mark produced an intricately constructed ornate box, taking inspiration from one he had seen on the internet.
Peter gained his ‘A’ Levels in Product Design, Maths and Drama shortly before joining the course. He developed a passion for woodwork at Chilton Cantelo school in Yeovil and, not yet knowing what career path he will follow, decided to join the 12 week Woodworking Skills course and see where it takes him. Peter loves old furniture and furniture restoration and recently trod the boards in pantomime as the Beast. As his project piece Peter made a table with ‘tricky’ legs.
After completing her ‘A’ levels Poppy wanted to take some time out close to home before going to University to study Fine Art. Poppy’s father is a furniture restorer and the family live nearby, so a course at the Academy seemed the ideal solution. Poppy made a coffee table as her personal project piece and is now wondering whether she would eventually like to follow a career in furniture design and making.
Richard joined the 12 week Woodworking Skills course after 21 years service in the Royal Air Force. He received a grant from the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC), an initiative to promote lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces, toward the cost of the course.
This is the start of a significant career and lifestyle change for Richard, who has just settled with his wife and young family in South Devon. Their new home is an old Railway Station House. Richard plans to use the skills he will learn at the Boat Building Academy to convert the Signal Box annexe into a holiday let. Eventually he will set up a workshop making wooden furniture in one of the old station outbuildings. For his personal project piece he made a console table for the Railway Station house, with curved legs to accommodate the unusually shaped hall wall.
Steve is a retired mechanical engineer and will use his new found woodworking skills to build a dinghy for his grandchildren (not yet born) as part of his legacy. While he was at the Academy Steve also joined the three day GRP Repair short course. Steve made a side table as his personal project piece.