• What makes Peter Sefton Furniture School different?
We do one thing and we do it well - we only teach - and groups are small, ensuring plenty of individual one-to-one tuition. Our only passion is teaching our students, and Peter is not only an award winning furniture maker; he’s also a qualified lecturer so he understands exactly what skills and knowledge are needed, and more importantly he knows how to deliver them. Peter regularly writes for leading magazines such as Furniture and Cabinet Making and Good Woodworking as well as being the Magazine's Hand Tool Expert for Woodworking Crafts magazine where he writes a monthly column here. Here are a just a few of his articles featuring the professional long course students and their projects.
We have a set Syllabus for our long course, which has recently been extended to 35 weeks, from September to July each year and we also commit to our students that they will always get dedicated hands on tuition in small groups, all day every day. We only teach one course at a time and we promise our students that the course pace won’t be slowed by new students joining at different times throughout the year, or by the distraction of Peter making furniture commissions at the same time as running courses.
• Who are our Long Courses aimed at?
Our long courses are aimed at students aspiring to design and make bespoke furniture to professional standards – either for their own enjoyment or to develop a career as a professional furniture designer/maker:-
• Students training or re-training for a new career - we offer a vocational course which is an alternative to university; we take students from aged 18 upwards and we teach you not only how to design and make fine, hand-crafted furniture, but teach you the business skills needed to start your own workshop. And for those looking to earn a living as an Improver or a Designer in another workshop when you graduate, you'll develop the practical skills, plus gain the speed and confidence to get you to the professional level required to get a job - we have a 100% successful record in finding our Graduates a position should they wish to move to a workshop when they leave us.
• Or for those looking for a new direction and for their own sense of fulfilment, we nurture your skills and take you in the direction you are interested in, tailoring the course to your own needs and pace if you simply want to produce beautiful designed and constructed one-off pieces for your own enjoyment.
You don't need any experience in woodworking to join, and each year we have a variety of students ranging from school-leavers looking to start their career, through to more mature students looking for a change of direction and there is always a great mix of ages and backgrounds within the group, all sharing a common aim in making and designing beautiful furniture.
Amongst our Student Profiles are 18 year old Graduate Sam Carter, who came to us straight from Sixth Form with no experience and went on to win the 2015 Alan Peter’s Award for Young Designer/Maker at the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design Exhibition, in Cheltenham and Rick Howie came to us after completing a successful career training firefighters at the Fire Service College with an aim of making furniture to professional standards and for his own enjoyment and now runs a successful cabinet-making business including many pieces for his prestigious customer, Croome Court, a National Trust property.
• What will you achieve?
You will build a portfolio of individually designed and hand crafted pieces and will gain the Peter Sefton Furniture School Diploma.
• Where are you located?
The Furniture School is situated in the grounds of a 17th Century oak framed Threshing Barn on a three acre farmstead just a mile outside the picturesque riverside town of Upton-upon-Severn. There isn’t an industrial estate in sight; just beautiful views of the Malvern Hills - it's an idyllic location to learn in - just follow our Find Us link.
Whether it’s the tranquillity of the countryside and the Cotswolds or the buzz of the city, culture and theatres you prefer, our central location ensures a variety of destinations are easily accessible. Stratford is a 45 minute drive away, you can be in Birmingham and Bristol within an hour, or London in two hours.
Our location means that we can offer a wide variety of Student Visits for research, ranging from those on our doorstep in the Cotswolds, to visiting international exhibitions in London. All are carefully selected to provide inspiration and an appreciation of craftsmanship, as well as a practical understanding of the skills needed to become a successful furniture maker.
• What sort of Workshops and Facilities to do you have?
Our workshops are purpose built, and have been designed as home to our Furniture School; all students have the use of:
• Extensive and well equipped, modern machine Workshop
• Naturally lit, and very spacious Bench Workshop
• Variety of Veneering and Laminating Equipment
• Design Studio and Library with many Reference Books and current Journals
• Storage Areas for Timber, Veneer and Student Projects
• Fully equipped Student Kitchen and PC Area
• Gardens and Paddocks for relaxing
• Ample car parking