VWA Furniture Making and Design Classes

These classes have been designed to cater for students with varied levels of woodwork skills. They are not, however, delivered as a formal A-Z introduction to basic woodworking or design. There are no formal qualifications to qualify for enrolment.

The classes centre on projects designated by the student, usually furniture of some kind. Some students, however, choose a project such as a box or small stool, the design and making of which will also serve as an education in the fundamentals of woodworking, particularly with hand tools and portable power tools.

In either case, students should bring an illustrative (plan, photo or drawing) and short textual description of their project, with measurements to enable specification of a timber cutting list.

Some students stay only as long as it takes to complete one specific project. Others set themselves a series of projects that will give them an increasing level of woodwork skills over a number of terms, sometimes two or three years.

The tutors assist students at all stages from project design, choice of timber, construction, finishing, safe work practices and, when required, machine operation. All tools, machine equipment, eye, hand and hearing protection gear, and insurance are provided as part of the fee.

Clothing and footwear should be suitable for a workshop environment (but not heavy industrial), providing protection against wood chips, dropped objects, and spills or splashes of varnishes and glues, while hair should be restrained or covered to avoid entanglement with machinery.

Class numbers are limited to ensure a high level of individual attention. There is no predetermined date for completion of projects and enrolment is on a term by term basis. Woodwork skills are desirable, but craft and technical tuition and support will be tailored to suit the requirements of each project and the competence of each student.

Design and computer resources are available as required by the course. Students also have access to tea/coffee facilities.

Tools and equipment are provided. Timber and fittings, eg hinges, of a type and standard approved by the tutor are supplied by the students. The school also supplies consumables such as glue, sandpaper, timber filler, screws, finish, masks and protective equipment. The student may also supply their own finish – oil or lacquer.

Note – Fees are inclusive of insurance, supervision of, and induction in, OHS practices for machine operation.