Box with herringbone pattern in wenge

As a joiner with a background in design, I have always loved to make things, having an idea and bringing it to life, often then deciding that I could have made it slightly better if I just tweaked it a little here and there.

I first met Marc for an informal interview at ‘robinson house studio’ and was immediately impressed with his passion and open approach to making and, importantly, teaching. I committed to a twelve-week course covering the fundamentals of cabinet making.
On the face of it joinery and cabinet making essentially follow the same principles.

Traditionally the tools are the same, wood is cut, glued, screwed or nailed. Training with Marc challenged all of my preconceived ideas on woodworking, opening up what I thought was achievable. Over the 12 weeks we covered all the basics, giving me the opportunity to readdress my technique at each stage of making. This was extremely rewarding, and my confidence grew as my knowledge of design and technique improved. One of the most significant changes to the way I worked was that my level of observation became attuned to that of a cabinet maker – an essential skill if you want to produce work to a professional standard.

Students progress to designing and making a piece of furniture in the latter stages of the course and I made a small jewellery box from wenge. A difficult timber to work, but the end result was visually exciting to look at. The box incorporated shop made veneer cut into strips and set to form a chevron pattern that wraps itself across the face and top of the box. All joints were then mitred. Challenging but rewarding.
I set out on my career as a cabinet maker, deciding how to progress, what work I would like to do, and how I become successful. The benefit of training with Marc in a professional environment has given me the insight I need to shape my own future, with a clear plan and a belief that I can succeed in what I want to achieve.

Martin Bell