For many years I have been driven to set up a studio that provided an exceptional level of tuition, one of the best equipped shared workspaces in the UK and an area that inspires great design and exemplary craftsmanship.
‘robinson house studio’ is the result of identifying that need. Areas such as design-history, ergonomics, aesthetics and running a business are taught alongside the more traditional subjects, these areas are often overlooked - resulting in poorly prepared students leaving the safety of the educational facility with little or no chance of either gaining employment or starting up on their own. This type of holistic approach is essential to ensure success for the student in the years following their course.
‘robinson house studio’ will not be instantly recognisable as a cabinet making workshop or school and this is deliberate. Students are encouraged to be experimental and innovation is combined with mixed media making. From day one the student's attention to detail in all areas of furniture making is nurtured, practical skills are entwined with business management and marketing.
The new studio offers a new unique style of furniture making course – one that focuses as much on design as it does on construction. The studio prides itself on standing out amongst the crowd. Innovation and experimentation are as important as tight joints, design and new materials are equal to techniques in dovetailing or finishing, it strives for perfection in all areas and this is a quality that is looked for in students and members.
The studio's teaching model has taken inspiration from past recognisable educational establishments, Parnham College (1970's - 2000) and the German Bauhaus school of the 1930's. ‘robinson house studio’ is different, the furniture I make, and the students I train are all different. The studio’s motto is “Don’t make furniture invent it” Inspiration for design is not taken from furniture but from architecture, nature, product, fashion and car design. This ensures new exciting work will continue to come out of’ robinson house studio’ and its students.
The studio’s ethos follows the work of pioneers such as Wharton Esherick, Wendell Castle and John Makepeace.
In 1968 Wendell Castle said “ I believe that furniture should not be derived from furniture, this practice can only lead to variations on existing themes. New concepts will arise only when we clear our minds of preconceived notions about the way furniture should look.
A high level of tuition is available whether it is a one week course or a one year course, all courses are bespoke and tailor made, class sizes are limited to around five, this ensures a plenty of one to one personal tuition by Marc Fish and not an assistant. The studio has outside visiting lecturers and new optional subjects are planed for students starting in 2011 – life drawing, CAD, site work, fitted furniture, milling and lathe engineering. Many students will enjoy using unusual materials mixed with traditional timber, cutting edge techniques and innovative design.