The number of students studying design and technology is in a 20-year decline, and while programmes such as Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker has helped highlight the arts and crafts industry, initiatives such as Artichoke’s School of Furniture are sorely needed to ensure these unique skills are not lost.
Artichoke, which is based in Cheddar, Somerset, started its School of Furniture in 2019 as a series of free evening classes for Somerset teenagers aged 16 and 17-years.
The evening classes aimed to encourage youngsters with a curiosity about craft, teaching them the fundamentals of working with hand tools while introducing the concept of architectural joinery and bespoke kitchen design, an area which Artichoke has become synonymous with. The course goal was to complete a wooden puzzle, which, under the tutelage of Artichoke’s experts, the students were able to successfully complete.
For those that showed a passion, Artichoke offered support to help them progress, be it through an apprenticeship or by applying for a scholarship through initiatives such as the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.