The Prince's Foundation The Prince's Foundation
wood grain

Tutors and facilities

The Create programme takes place in traditional Cotswold farm buildings converted into bespoke workshop spaces for up to eight students. The small cohort and high student-to-tutor ratio means that each student will receive individual and focused tuition and support throughout the programme. The programme has been designed by our Lead Tutor and a full-time Studio Coordinator will be on hand every day to help guide and facilitate the work as it progresses. We will be joined by other inspirational visiting tutors and practising makers over the course of the training.

Our fixed machinery workshop is equipped with all the fundamentals, including a table saw, band saw, copy lathe, mortise, belt sander and planer/thicknesser, pillar drill, whilst our bench workshop is kitted out with professional Festool power tools.

We have our own timber drying and store shed stocked with a range of hard and softwoods, much of which is cut from UK grown trees.

Create Programme Course Structure

The Create programme is structured in 3 main sections: Learn, Refine and Create. The teaching and learning are intensive, rewarding and meaningful, allowing the cohort to acquire new skills and develop a broad understanding over a 12-week period.

Learn

Students will begin each programme by selecting from several project briefs. Projects will run for three weeks, during which they will research, design and prototype. Following three short projects they will explore with tutors which projects to develop into production ready designs.

Students will be given taught introductions into complex subjects surrounding timber and sustainability and they will be expected to rapidly begin their own research exercises in their selected topics. They will need to share their ideas with the cohort to help define their individual direction, share knowledge and experience, whilst push their learning and skills forward.

Students will be given hand tool training and production process experience, to inform their project work and enable them to produce detailed outcomes.

Part of their training will take place off-site at Shenmore in Herefordshire, an area of woodland managed by Woodland Heritage. Students will also receive training and work experience at a large commercial sawmill in Whitney near Hay-on-Wye. They will learn from expert woodland managers and sawmill staff in order to understand the full process, from planting to planking. This understanding will ensure their projects are sustainable as they find new innovative ways to work with wood.

Refine

Through tutorial feedback, peer-to-peer learning, creative thinking, scale models and a series of prototypes, students will refine their design ideas to suit one-off and batch production.

Students will work individually and as a group to explore their own creative design process and test their making skills. The process will be guided by our lead tutor and Studio Coordinator, who will encourage students to challenge presumptions about what furniture is, how it is made, and how we can work towards being more sustainable and less wasteful.

Create

Students will work productively and effectively in a professional workshop environment to produce furniture items, working together as a team to ensure their work is cost efficient in a real-world environment whilst upholding core values of sustainability.

Students will generate several projects over the course of the 12 weeks, further developing one project into a production-ready prototype which will be exhibit level quality.

Scholarship and fees

Tuition fees and materials for eight students are covered by The Prince’s Foundation Scholarships through the generosity of its donors.

Students will need to provide their own food, transport and make a deposit payment for accommodation on site if it is required.

Accommodation

Accommodation on site is limited. Please indicate on your application form whether you would like accommodation. Scholarship students will incur a deposit of £450. Fee paying students will be charged £150 per week and accommodation must be booked in advance. The accommodation consists of a single room with an ensuite shower room. Students will be asked to vacate the rooms for one week midterm during the break week. Students will have access to cooking facilities and there are plenty of options for eating out in Tetbury, which is only a mile away. Please note, there are currently no laundry facilities on site.

All bedding and towels are provided and the rooms will be cleaned once a week.

Location

The Create programme is delivered at Highgrove Traditional Crafts, a converted 17th century house and farm buildings which sits on the edge of the Highgrove estate, home to HRH The Prince of Wales. Located just a mile away from Tetbury and in beautiful Cotswold countryside, it makes for a picturesque location to escape to and focus on furniture making skills.

You can reach Highgrove by rail, the nearest station being Kemble GWR, with trains to London Paddington, Bristol, Bath and connections to the North. If you want to bring your car, there is easy access to both the M4 and the M5 and plenty of parking on site.

Bristol, Gloucester and Bath are all about 40 mins drive away, whilst Birmingham is 2 hours away and London 2 ½ hours away.

How to apply

You will be asked to submit a PDF portfolio of up to 10 pages to be viewed on screen. It should aim to reflect your completed projects, woodworking skills and your design process to date. The application form will also ask you for a short statement about yourself, your understanding about timber and your future aims.

In making our selection we will be looking for recent graduates with degrees in furniture design and making. We are looking for students who are able to conduct material research, show experience and a good standard in making skills and who are competent designers and communicators.

We must remind applicants that this is not a beginner’s course or pure craft training. We will be offering places to those who have already proved themselves able thinkers and makers.

Please use the following link to go to the online application form.

Closing date for applications is 12noon on Monday 15th August.

Q&As

Will all the tools I need be provided?

We will provide all the tools and machinery required to complete this course. You are welcome to bring your own kit of favourite hand tools but please mark them clearly. Please do not bring electrical tools to the studios for Health and Safety reasons.

What materials will I need? All materials will be provided. If you would like to bring a specific type of material with you, please email the office for advice.

Who else will be on the course with me?

Applicants will usually will have completed a degree in a related subject or have proven demonstrable experience. This is an opportunity for those wishing to develop skills to enter the furniture making profession.

Is there an age limit?

No, we encourage applications from anyone over the age of 18, as long as you have a relevant qualification, portfolio or demonstrable experience. Usually, applicants will have completed a degree in a related subject.

How accessible are the workshops and facilities?

Our buildings are accessible for those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs, including the accommodation. Please clearly state any access needs on the application form so that we can make any reasonable adjustments to allow all our learners to have an excellent experience with us.

Can I work part time whilst doing the course?

The course is full time, 5 days a week, 9am – 5pm. Tetbury is a thriving town and there may be opportunities for weekend or evening employment.

Can I invite a friend or partner to stay at the weekend in the accommodation block?

No. All our accommodation is for single use only. There are plenty of B&Bs and hotels in the area.

Is there catering on site?

No. You will have use of a shared kitchen and dining room and will need to bring your own provisions for the duration of your course.

What can I go on to do after I have finished the course?

Most students will go on to work with manufacturers, private clients and retailers. We hope their training will stay with them and inform all their future career choices.

What qualifications and experience are suitable for entry?

Applicants are expected to have already completed a degree in furniture design and making. We hope to see portfolios with relevant projects that explore sustainable issues, timber experience and evidence of good design process.

What will I learn?

Students will learn making skills, sustainable approaches to timber use, design skills, communication and presentation skills, and gain confidence in their ability to develop furniture from concept to prototype, to finished product.

Will there be access to Highgrove Gardens?

The Create programme will be inspired by the gardens and the organic and sustainable ethos that underpins it. At certain times, students will be able to explore with a guide the many inspirational built architectural elements and the garden.

Will my work be exhibited at the end?

Student work will be exhibited locally either at Highgrove or in Tetbury as well as at the Garrison Chapel in London. Students and their projects may be presented directly to relevant UK manufacturers or other stakeholders.

Is this course accredited?

No, this course is not accredited but is valued by furniture manufacturers and studios in the UK and beyond.

Can I apply if I am not a British passport holder?

If you do not hold a British passport, please email us and we will discuss your options to study with us on an individual basis.