Since 2016, to celebrate British craftsmanship, every year Snowdon Summer School selects eight students to take part in a week-long program with a focus to raise awareness of the importance of hands-on making and design education. The program is the brainchild of Carmel Allen the then creative director at LINLEY. Now in its fourth year, the carefully selected students from the leading furniture colleges in the country, are granted the opportunity to advance on a range of cabinet-making and marquetry skills from master craftsmen.
This year Naseer Yasna was invited to co-teach the programme alongside Jonathan Rose, marquetry expert and fine furniture maker for LINLEY, and William Warren, an award-winning designer and drafts-man, and senior lecturer in furniture design at The CASS.
Considered one of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes, Dumfries House is set in 2,000 acres of land. This stunning estate and 18th-Century house with its unrivalled collection of original furniture. Saved by the intervention of His Royal Highness,The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay in 2007, Dumfries House combines the neoclassical architecture of Robert Adam with the furniture of Thomas Chippendale and leading 18th-Century Scottish cabinet makers.
HRH The Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay saved Dumfries House estate for the nation in order to use it to help people engage in learning experiences that promote confidence and personal
development, as well as offer training in real-life skills to open up future employment opportunities.
The house boasts of 60 pieces of original authenticated Chippendale furniture, which constitutes around 10% of all authenticated works by the master cabinet maker in the world. This year, the eight members of class of 2019 had the opportunity to personalise an adapted version of his Breakfast Table with their newly acquired marquetry skills. The table, which is one of his Chinese influenced pieces, incorporates some oriental style fretwork and has a folding table top. Every year the extent to which each table differs from the next, in terms character, is remarkable. And all the difference is due the various student designs of the table tops. You can see some of the end results on this Instagram post. Some of the other skills the students practice during this intensive training week is how to do dovetail joints and high gloss polishing. This year was made even more special, as mid-way through the week Earl of Snowdon visited the workshop and spent several ours with the students and the tutors.