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Furniture and Related Objects

The Furniture and related objects postgraduate programmes will prepare you for exciting opportunities in conservation, restoration or making. Either by setting up your own business or by joining an established company, either nationally or internationally. Past graduates have worked at the National Maritime Museum amongst other prestigious institutes. Students will be working in a purpose-built furniture conservation workshop. You will have your own dedicated workbench and storage for personal tools and equipment. Specialist facilities include a finishing room and a state-of-the-art UV microscope for study and analysis of paint and varnish coatings. You will learn about preventative treatment, historic craft practices, art history, materials science and preventative conservation and will benefit from trips to stately homes, antique fairs and experience external lectures. The programme is supported by the British Antique Dealers Association. David Dorning, MA ACR is your programme leader, Norbert Gutowski your furniture tutor, a specialist in woodworking techniques and decorative finishes.

West Dean College Diploma in Furniture Making/Restoration Practices (West Dean College Award)



Interventive Treatment

You will learn about structural and surface stabilisation, cleaning, consolidation, restoration of losses, materials and techniques, theory and practice.

Historical Craft Practices

Through practical work you will develop your tool skills, learning a variety of techniques and trades.

Entry Requirements

A good general education combined with an appropriate level of woodworking or related hand skills.

Graduate Diploma/Postgraduate Diploma (University of Sussex Award)


The Graduate and Postgraduate Diploma courses cover all five areas in full.The Postgraduate Diploma builds on the Graduate Diploma with the melding of the practical, theoretical, scientific and technical studies into a coherent and unified approach to the treatment and preservation of furniture and related objects.The successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma qualifies you, if registered, to progress to the MA in Conservation Studies or MA Design.

Interventive Treatment

You will learn about structural and surface stabilisation, cleaning, consolidation, restoration of losses, materials and techniques, theory and practice.

Historic Craft Practices

A Through practical work you will develop your tool skills, learning a variety of techniques and trades.

Art History

A You will develop an understanding and appreciation of the history and cultural context of furniture and related objects and the architectural interiors that they were created to be part of.

Materials Science

You will study wood and other decorative art materials associated with furniture including surface coatings; transparent, gilded, painted
or lacquered.

Preventative Conservation

A You will develop your knowledge of non-interventive care, exhibition, storage and related good practice.

Entry Requirement Graduate Diploma

A Degree or qualification at equivalent level to a second year of undergraduate study and significant interest in furniture.

Entry Requirement Postgraduate Diploma

A good first degree in a relevant subject, or successful completion of West Dean’s Graduate Diploma in Furniture and Related Objects, or significant experience and interest in object history, technology and design.

Professional Development Diploma (West Dean College Award)


Students wishing to carry out a Professional Development Diploma in their chosen subject should have considerable experience in a relevant industry or successful completion of a relevant diploma or degree and the submission of a project proposal and /or research project.

Entry Requirements

Considerable experience in a relevant industry or successful completion of a relevant diploma or degree and the submission of a project proposal and/or research project.

MA Conservation Studies/MA Design (University of Sussex Award)


All Postgraduate Diplomas at West Dean can be transferred into the MA Degree programmes, thereby extending the duration of study from one academic year to a full calendar year.Mid-way through the academic year (February), students on postgraduate programmes commence MA units in addition to the remainder of their Postgraduate Diploma.On successful completion of the full academic year (July), students will have finished their Postgraduate Diploma and completed a significant amount of MA introductory study. In July, students commence their major projects for the MA degree which involve a further 10-week period of full-time study with a final assessment towards the end of September.

Entry Requirements

Candidates registered on the postgraduate diploma in Conservation will have fulfilled the entry requirements for the MA, subject to the negotiation of an appropriate MA project.

For further information about the MA Design please click here

Specialist Facilities

The programme is delivered in a purpose-built, furniture conservation workshop, which benefits from excellent natural and artificial light. You will have your own workbench, and storage for personal tools and equipment. Specialist facilities include a finishing room with fume extraction, stores for timber, materials and furniture. Adjacent to the workshop, there is a state-ofthe-art UV microscope for study and analysis of paint and varnish coatings.

Programme Leader

David Dorning MA ACR

David worked at Warwick County Archives and Coventry City Archives, before moving into Book Conservation, in which he has an MA from the
University of Sussex. David is a specialist in Book and Paper Conservation which he teaches alongside his research subject, materials science, both at West Dean and other institutions. He is an accredited member of ICON and a Fellow of IIC.

Furniture Tutor

Norbert Gutowski

A specialist in traditional woodworking techniques and decorative finishes.He was course director of the HND courses at Rycotewood College in
Thame, Oxfordshire. In 1996 he came to West Dean College to teach on the Conservation and Making of Furniture programmes.

Programme Advisor

Christopher Claxton Stevens:Decorative Arts Scholar and Consultant
Richard Coles: Antique Furniture Dealer
Kate Gill: Textile Conservator
Toby Winteringham: Furniture Designer Maker.

For student profiles please click here

To view our conservation students blog please click here

Admissions

Application forms and further information on how to apply click here. An admissions panel, including a programme tutor, will consider your application and if you fulfil the entry requirements you will be invited to visit West Dean for an interview and practical test with the programme tutor and another senior member of academic staff.

ENQUIRIES: Telephone: +44 (0)1243 818208 or 811301 Email: diplomas@westdean.org.uk

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West Dean College and Gardens are situated in South East England, six miles north of the historic city of Chichester and 12 miles from the south coast.

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