A Plymouth University student has been awarded the opportunity to train with one of the country’s most respected furniture companies this summer.
Scott Whitfield, who has recently completed his first year on the BA (Hons) 3D Design (Designer Maker) course, is one of just eight students from across the UK selected to take part in the first ever Linley Summer School.
The opportunity will enable students to learn a range of cabinet making and marquetry skills from master craftsmen, and the week-long course will be taught by Jonathan Rose, marquetry expert and fine furniture maker for Linley since 1997, and William Warren, an award-winning designer and draftsman, and senior lecturer in furniture design at The CASS.
The Summer School, which is being held at Messum’s Wiltshire, will also host a programme of guest lecturers and craftsmen including Gareth Neal, Bill Amberg, and Matthew Hilton.
Scott, 19, whose interest in woodwork and craft was first sparked from making bird boxes with his grandfather, but then encouraged by his parents when they were extending the family home, has been awarded a full bursary to attend the course from August 22nd-28th.
He says: “I love working with my hands, developing ideas through into reality and seeing the enjoyment that others get from a well-crafted piece of furniture. I am fascinated by what can be achieved by both traditional and modern skills and I am always keen to learn new skills in order to broaden my experience.”
Polly Macpherson, associate professor (senior lecturer) in 3D Design at Plymouth University, says: “It was amazing to be asked by Linley to select one of our up and coming furniture makers for the first ever Linley Summer School, an invitation which has evolved from our developing creative industry partnerships, in particular with Hole and Corner magazine. For Scott this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from practising furniture makers working at the top of their profession will I’m sure, be invaluable to him in both his future studies and career.”
Founded by the Queen’s nephew David Linley in 1985, Linley has a world-renowned reputation for fusing innovative design with superlative cabinet-making. Design, craftsmanship and innovation are central to the company’s ethos and are celebrated and encouraged in the studio and workshops, resulting in pieces that push boundaries.
The company decided to launch its Summer School because while British craftsmanship and design is renowned the world over, its workshops are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit young people.
David Linley says: “It is my passionate belief that we should utilise the imaginative and creative resources of this country to their maximum potential and with workshop spaces and hands-on making courses disappearing at an alarming rate, I hope the Linley Summer School will be the beginning of an arts and crafts movement in the 21st Century.”