Good craftsmanship is the focus of this course, whether making furniture to your own design if you have plenty of existing skills, or building a tool cabinet to practice key furniture making skills.
This is an opportunity to focus on good craftsmanship and to develop your practical skills in designing and making furniture. Those at intermediate level will be supported to select a suitable project commensurate with their skill base. This will be discussed with the tutor on a one-to-one basis well in advance, and includes help and guidance with preparation and sourcing material, so that making can begin at the start of the course. Alternatively you can build a useful tool cabinet, which has through and lapped dovetails to develop your skills. Sharpening essential hand tools, will also be covered.
If you already have a sound understanding of furniture construction, you can design your own piece of furniture. Plans are drawn up with the tutor in advance, to maximise construction time during the course. This option is ideally suited to those who have attended previous furniture making courses at the College, or gained woodworking skills elsewhere.
All students will need to liaise with the tutor well in advance of the course to discuss ideas and plan your work programme according to their abilities.
Due to the many variables, you are likely to need to be prepared to complete your projects at home or return to a subsequent course, these are currently programmed twice a year.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
" Bernard Allen is highly skilled as a furniture maker, he is also the most inspiring, patient and endlessly encouraging tutor I have ever met. After an office based career, he has helped me realise, and develop a talent for design and furniture making that I never knew I had "
" Bernard Allen is a consummate craftsman who rejoices in sharing his unique skills. His approach embodies the ethos of a West Dean. The promotion of arts and craft by the enthusiastic dissemination of knowledge. This is a wonderful antidote to the packaged, 'make a widget' approach, that has crept in with some of the newer tutors. I feel qualified to make these comments, having regularly attended West Dean from its early years in the 1970's
" The quality and variation of courses on offer "