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How art history influenced my furniture making business

Does your passion already lie in the arts? If so, you will relate to Constance Graesslin de Mare’s journey. After studying art history in Paris, Constance found herself drawn to creating pieces herself and was inspired to pursue furniture making.

Read on to find out how Constance’s study of art history took a turn into woodworking at the Chippendale School…

Choosing Chippendale

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity and when I set about searching for a school to learn woodworking skills, Scotland really caught my eye. It was the Chippendale School that firmed my decision in the end – I could see that it was the perfect fit for me.

I was impressed by the quality of the Professional Course and the limited number of students made it an incredible place to learn, as we had all of the attention from tutors that we needed. The highlight of my time at Chippendale wasbeing able to developmyown designs, and getting help withthemfrombeginning to end wasextraordinary.

The lockdownproved to be a challenging time due to the restrictions placed in France during 2020, and so I delayedmy plans to start my business until August 2021. However, I did manage to findtemporarywork in a furniture production companywhich has keptmy hand in at woodworking.

Constance's graduate collection

Finding Inspiration

My work is often influenced by my academic background in art history and so my designs can be quite conceptual. My tutors at Chippendale School were very patient and were always happy to let me explore my wildest ideas. When I design a piece of furniture, I spend days on the concept, on the ‘why’ and ‘how’. I ask myself – what does my design mean? What am I conveying? Who did this before me? Arts and Crafts, conceptual art and Bauhaus are the areas that have been the most inspiring during my time at Chippendale. Preparing to start up a business My conceptual approach that I described above gives me an edge in the woodworking market and it will help me to define my business. I will also be doing furniture restorations as this enables me to never stop learning, which is so important to me. I currently have a waiting list of customer projects to get going on when I start my business in August. I have been very lucky as my customers are allowing me to be free to explore with design as I want. They are mainly asking for contemporary designs, although I also have a commission for a Windsor rocking chair and a traditional storage stool. I am very excited to have found a great workshop to start my business in and I can’t wait to get going in August!

Thank you to Constance for her contribution to this blog.

If you are interested in following your passion and starting your own furniture making business like Constance Furniture see more information on our Professional course at The Chippendale International School of Furniture here.

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