Sika console table in rippled sycamore, Australian oak, and carbon fibre

I did a design degree ages ago, and decided when I finished that degree that maybe it wasn’t quite what I wanted to get into, it was really competitive. So I ended up taking a very different path and started working in research, in agencies in London for quite a few years, but lacked a sense of creativity through that. I visited a few different schools and this was the one that seemed the most creative, the more experimental, the most open to a range of materials. That really appealed to me because I didn’t want it to be a completely carpentry-type approach to furniture design, I wanted it to be a bit more forward looking than that. And that’s certainly what this place offers, I think Marc’s work shows that and the work of the students shows that.

I signed up for 12 weeks and I thought I wouldn’t get enough done in that time, so I pushed it to 20 weeks, and then halfway through that course I thought, I’m not going to get enough done in 20 weeks, so I went for the full year. If someone had told me in advance of the course that I would do a bunch of skills-based exercises and then 3 projects I would have said that doesn’t sound like much. I came into this thinking that everything would be much quicker, and in reality fitting those three projects into the year was quite a challenge.

The creativity element was really good, and I like the fact that there was a real emphasis on learning skills first. All the practice is not necessarily fun, but then when you’re in the middle of a project and you realise the most accurate way of doing something is to pick up a chisel and do it by hand, you appreciate that all the work you did before has brought you to that point, because you wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise.

Laurent Peacock