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UCOL Furniture students win at Woodfest

News Release

Tuesday 6 September 2011

UCOL Furniture students win at Woodfest

UCOL Furniture Design and Making students and staff achieved a record number of awards at the National Woodskills Festival at Kawerau last weekend.

The UCOL team achieved three firsts at the national festival. Senior Lecturer Andy Halewood says UCOL students and staff already have a great track record at the festival “but this is the first time we’ve achieved three first places.”

Eighteen students and lecturers from the two year Diploma in Furniture Design and Making programme attended the event.

First year student Darren Beasley took first in the Open Furniture section with his hall table made of all recycled oak and native kahikatea (or white pine) wood. Darren says his win was very rewarding and exciting. “It was great to have an opportunity to use what I’m learning on the programme to create something of sufficient quality and workmanship to earn an award at a national level.”

Darren has already completed a National Diploma in Science at UCOL but was attracted by the Furniture diploma. After he completes the programme he plans to start his own furniture making business.

Second year student Fiona Stewart took first first prize in the Open Novice section with a room divider screen made of oak, called Divine Inspiration, and Andy Halewood was placed first in the Pine section with a modern style hall table.

Second year student Geoff Young won two Highly Commended awards in the Furniture section for a pottery display cabinet and a stool. Second year student Ryan Eaddy gets his name on the Lilly Stubbs plaque in recognition of the quality of his work. His is only the third name on the plaque and he is the first student to achieve the distinction.

Student Phillip Bertrim also won a Merit award for a gun cabinet in the Open Furniture section.

Andy says the students were competing against a record number of entries from artisans throughout New Zealand. “To achieve these great results they use all of the skills and knowledge they gain on the Diploma programme,” he says. ”Designing and making fine furniture requires a complex set of skills and attributes, including creativity and innovation, design skills, technical knowledge and finesse and attention to detail.”

UCOL’s iconic Furniture Design and Making programme is the only one offered in New Zealand at diploma level. Practical components make up 80 per cent of the programme: Students also do business studies including computing, communications and marketing to help them run their own business or work within an existing one.

Photo by BAVI Student Sophie: Student Darren Beasley with his winning recycled wood hall table.


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