Making: With hands and machines
This course mirrors the first half of our full Twelve Month Professional Designer/Maker Course and starts with the same first principles of fine woodworking. Students are up close, understanding the material and the fundamental skills involved in making with a high degree of accuracy. After a short time, students at Rowden are creating precise work and developing a thorough understanding of hand tools accuracy.
After learning what professional work feels like at the bench, students progress into our 2000sqft+ machine room. Over just a few months they are adept with hand tools, power tools and machines and working to tolerances of 0.25mm or less.
Critically, Rowden’s course structure ensures students fully comprehend how and why they would use any tool, process or joint. We prepare students to independently apply the skills they are acquiring, not just in the bubble of a learning workshop.
Design: A grounding in creative expression
In our experience understanding, developing and honing design skills is critical to cabinetmaking and students on the six month course engage in the initial classes of our design curriculum. Conducted in our dedicated art studio, we focus on artistic and technical drawing skills. These are the critical foundations for being able to interrogate your making on paper. Our technical drawing syllabus also ensures you understand draughting and can interpret drawings at a high level.
Every syllabus at Rowden starts with the basics. Working from the ground up cements the standard necessary for professional cabinetmaking. From this grounding, students move into advanced practical skills and knowledge. We have refined this course over more than 25 years, and it is highly structured. We focus on mastering the core skills and processes necessary to make outstanding furniture.
Rowden ensures students understand the capabilities of many different tools in your hands; a hand plane, a table saw, a pencil or a full technical drawing. All useful to you at some point in the creation of fine furniture. We ensure they develop the confidence to appreciate the scope and limitations of each and when each might be appropriate.
Students gain a thorough understanding of construction in wood, design principles, timber biology, drawing, modelling, the business of furniture making and much, much more. It is an extensive curriculum learnt over an intensive six months. Your confidence as a woodworker and understanding of what you can achieve with hand tools and machines will shift dramatically.
You will work with most of our tuition team over six months at Rowden. All are exceptional makers and designers in their own right.
You will find out about where time spent at Rowden can lead to on our alumni page.
Logistics: Getting to Rowden
Every year around 99% of our students are coming from elsewhere in the UK or the world. Many are here with a previous career behind them, some coming as an alternative to university. Students at Rowden are anywhere between 18 and 80. Universally there are logistics to consider.
Can I do this? Where will I live? Where is good for my family? How will I get around? What is Devon or the UK like? We can help with all of these questions. Our FAQ’s page will answer most but get in touch if you would like to discuss your specific situation.
Our intakes occur in February, June, September and November each year. Each intake is small, but the exact size will depend on the space we have available. Course payments are spread over instalments, and a deposit is necessary to confirm a place with us. Depending on your situation and start date additional funding may be available, either through our DBS Designer/Maker Bursary or QEST, supporting excellence in British craftsmanship.
Course Tuition Fees:
Six Month Professional Maker: £12,810