'After eight years as a site carpenter I decided to change my career path to furniture design and make. I chose City of Oxford College because the furniture studies course at Rycotewood Furniture Centre had been highly recommended to me.
‘The furniture department boasts a highly experienced team of teaching staff with a mixture of backgrounds in the industry, enabling students to receive different opinions on design and make aspects of the projects. The college also has one of the best workshop and mill facilities of all the HE places of study for this type of course. Once appropriate training has been given on the machinery, students are encouraged to use the equipment as much as possible. Personal projects are allowed.
‘This course is helping me understand the processes and knowledge needed to be able to confidently design and make my own furniture. I thoroughly enjoy the making side of the course, as I am skilled in this area. Although the design side of the course has been a challenge and has taken me out of my comfort zone, I relish the problem solving process needed to achieve a well-designed piece of furniture.
‘I would say to anyone thinking about joining this programme to make sure that the design/make balance is right for you and that there is sufficient opportunity to make your own designs. Also make sure you aim to challenge yourself, which for me makes it a much more interesting experience.
‘I plan to finish the two-year foundation degree and then find employment in a furniture workshop or design office, gaining experience in this type of environment for several years. I then plan on coming back to complete my BA Honours degree. Once I have done this, I feel I will have the necessary experience, knowledge and industry connections to hopefully set up my own workshop.’