NEWSLETTER – July 2016

Holiday season is now here and although we did manage to escape for a few days very welcome Portuguese sun, as I write, we are now deeply entrenched in our summer programme of Short Courses.

The all new SKILLS WEEK' has proved an unprecedented success attracting an area of the market which has clearly been crying out for a new approach to traditional woodworking skills. This course is very intensive, challenging and above all fun. It naturally prepares students to comfortably undertake the challenges of my other short courses and also acts a a taster for those considering a career as a fine furniture designer/maker.

The newly refurbished workshops are proving a hit with me as well as the students. Dedicated, well organised and with plenty of space. A maximum of six students allows me to give everyone plenty of individual attention.

I am really looking forward to my annual visit to DICTUM in Munich this August. The subjects this year are Traditional Veneering & French Polishing. Anyone visiting Munich really should drop into their showroom, it is stunningly presented and their range of tools is fabulous.

Each month we feature the work of one of our bench renters or past students. This month check out the stunning work by recently qualified designer/maker Peter Hunter.

Of course, none of us would be able to operate as successfully as we do without the support of some fabulous and specialist suppliers, with this mind we are delighted to give a mention each month to some of our favourite suppliers Capital Crispin Veneers.

Finally, don't forget to check out John's latest top tip!

Don't Miss out!
Final opportunity to join these 2016 courses

2 day Care & Repair of Antique Furniture. Bring along your own small items and learn how to bring them back to life 13-14 August
3 day Beautiful Boxes. Learn the art of laminating and take home a stunning box 17-19 August
2 day Cabinetmaking Fundamentals. All you need to know to get you started on the road to fine woodworking 20-21 August

FOCUS on Peter Hunter Designer/Maker

I graduated from Brunel University with a BSc in Product Design and Engineering in 2014. I maintain a nasty habit of using CAD wherever possible.

My time with John has allowed me to develop my own design process, from my first rigidly designed bedside table, to pieces like the chair, which abandoned plans along the way for more of a hand-eye approach.

My objective is to create furniture enhanced with bold elements and to mix traditional construction techniques with contemporary style.

P Hunter FB chest

5 Degree Cabinet (European Walnut & Bog Oak)

The front and sides of this cabinet are both angled at 5 degrees to create an architectural look. Fitting the dovetailed drawers into the angled carcass was a very satisfying process and using a beautifully figured board of walnut for the front really ties the piece together. Bog Oak is used for the drawer handles and the parquetry back. The plinth is ebonised walnut and the entire piece has been french polished to a mirror finish.

Peter Hunter parquetry box

Sewing Box (Oak & Walnut)

My first piece and the start of my obsession with parquetry.

Peter Hunter cabinet 3

Bedside Table (Ash)

Elements of the brass handles are mirrored throughout this piece to create a cohesive design. I look forward to building another in the future.

Peter Hunter chair

Spoon Back Chair (Ash)

Created as a decorative bedroom chair to go alongside the bedside table. Forming the compound curves out of solid ash reveals the layers of beauty in the wood, it was a fantastic way to get acquainted with different shaping tools.

Peter can be contacted through or by calling 07709 770023


Stunning, unusual and beautifully kept veneers. The visit to Capital Crispin is always a hit with my students and they're often spotted clutching bundles of stunning veneers for the latest projects!

Capital Crispin_0347


It's always rewarding breathing new life into beautiful old objects! This 19th century centre table with ormolu mounts was a particular favourite

Restration KIngwood table



If you need a bit more pressure from your spring clamps......

Tip of the month



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The Author John Lloyd

John Lloyd trained in Furniture Making and Antique Furniture Restoration & Conservation with Bruce Luckhurst at the Little Surrenden Workshops in Kent, where he graduated with distinction.  He also taught antique furniture restoration at West Dean College, Chichester.  

John was awarded the City & Guilds of London Institute Silver Medal of Excellence,  the highest possible award, as First Prize for Advanced Studies in Furniture for Furniture Making and Antique Restoration.

With the experience of a 25 year career as a successful furniture designer/maker and restorer behind him, John now teaches intensive courses from his delightful workshops in rural Sussex.  He also regularly contributes articles to the leading furniture making magazines.

John is a full member of BAFRA, The British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association.