Start dates: January, May, September
This two-year course is aimed at those who may be looking into a conventional furniture design and making degree course with one of the UK’s universities. Our research into people leaving with a degree in these subjects shows that many feel they lack practical skills. This may be techniques, hand skills, or wood machining. Here at robinson house studio we aim to bridge that gap. We are the only private furniture making school to offer a dedicated two-year course – the last two-year course offered was at the renowned John Makepeace’s now closed Parnham College. There appears to be a wide gap between the usual furniture design and making degree courses, and the hands-on courses run in a workshop – so our aim is to offer something that would meet the requirements of students and employers alike.
Our higher-level diploma scheme gives you a real feeling of achievement, and shows an employer your aptitude, skill and practical application abilities. Whilst it is not a degree in furniture design and making, it does carry some weight in the industry – Marc Fish and robinson house studio have become internationally renowned due to the experimental and progressive nature of their work and the exceptionally high level of tuition given by the school.
You will cover advanced subjects including mixed media making, computer aided design and machining, model making, metal working including welding. Unlike a degree course the subjects are largely verbal discussions and not essays. This means that if you are maybe not academic or do not like exams this is going to be a better option than the usual degree course in furniture design/making or product design at a university. You will be encouraged to use these materials and skills in the projects produced in your second year.
At least six projects are usually completed in the two years; the projects will be designed by you with guidance from Marc and his team. Our photographer will produce your portfolio, which you can use to promote your business or gain employment.
Hand tool selection – New, old, tuning and sharpening. Use of hand tools and accurate measuring
Glues – Different types, strength comparison, and correct uses.
Abrasives – Different types and correct uses
Machinery – Maintenance, identification, and applications
Health & safety
Hand power tools – Routers, router tables, biscuit jointers, domino jointers, sander, drills
Joints – Cutting, assembly, identification, construction
Jigs and small batch runs
Drawing – Sketching, working drawings, rods, CAD
Ordering timber – Costing and estimating waste
Timber study – Movement, moisture content, drying, defects, and conversion
External timber yard visit
Veneering – Selection, storage, preparation, hand pressing, vacuum bag
Laminating – Cutting, thicknessing, invisible glue lines
Curves – Steam bending theory, coopering, laminating
Finishing – Types, applications, polishing oils, bleach, colouring
These topics may be studied in addition to core topics, subject to availability and schedules
Steam bending, coopering
Design principals & appreciation
CAD, CNC machines
3D printing and 3D scanning
Setting up a workshop – machinery, legislation, dust extraction
Meeting clients and communication
Exhibiting your work – retail, galleries, internet, your own exhibition
Introduction to websites – SEO, marketing, PR
Printed stationery – branding, designing, brochures, business cards, letterheads, drawings, photography
2 year course cost: £30,000
Please contact us for details on the instalments for the remainder of the cost
A budget for tools should be allowed, we can advise on what is needed
A budget should also be allowed for materials for your own projects. Materials are provided for small samples and test pieces
Our student intakes are in January, May, and September. Occasionally we can accept students outside of these dates, please email us to enquire about this
Teaching is 9am until 4.30pm
Some out-of-hours and weekend practice time may be available, subject to terms and conditions