Class of January 2017
Barnaby joined the 12 week Woodworking Skills course at the start of a year long career break from his day job in science communication. His family have a wide range of arts and craft interests including his father who has built and restored dozens of wooden boats. When they were younger, Barnaby and his sister used to spend many hours in their father’s workshop ‘playing’ with tools, and he was keen to see if he could recall any of his childhood skills.
He was attracted to the course at the Boat Building Academy for several reasons: the outstanding quality of the instructors, the fabulous facilities in the Academy, and the wonderful seaside location.
For his main project piece, Barnaby designed a writing desk (sometimes mistaken as a table) with an African mahogany frame and a top made from Rengas wood from the jungles of Borneo, cut down in the early 1970s by his father’s friend Bill.
Jim joined the course to pursue a long held ambition of getting better at his appalling attempts at woodworking. So having just retired he decided to treat himself.
He chose to make a coffee table from Solomon Island rosewood as the wood was given to him as a present by a grateful patient when he was working in the Solomons. The timber had sat happily in his garage for over thirty years and it needed to be put to use. Jim was pleased with the result.
Leeland joined the 12 week Woodworking course as he felt he was at a point in his life where he wanted to work with wood. The course came highly recommended by a friend and offered a perfect balance in learning and practicing with the tools and techniques in making fine woodwork, and also building knowledge on the nature of different woods and their uses. On top of the practical elements, there was an opportunity to design and build an independent project which would allow freedom to create something original.
The reason Leeland chose to make his chair (later named Harald) was so that he could engage in an era of design that appealed to him most. Inspired by mid-century/art deco style, Leeland spent many hours trawling through Instagram, finding designs. The final design was actually inspired by architectural work from that period.