Friday, 23 August 2019

40 students graduate from upholstered furniture school

40 students graduate from upholstered furniture school

MORE than 40 students have graduated from an upholstery school in Nettlebed.

The British School of Upholstered Furniture at Manor Farm is led by Gregory Culpitt-Jones, an award-winning master upholsterer who runs Cottage Upholstery in the village, and his business partner Gareth Rees.

The pair tutored 44 students one day a week offering the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers diploma programme levels 1, 2 and 3. The full course takes three years to complete.

A graduation ceremony was held at the venue, where the students were presented with certificates by Philip Wellesley-Davies, chairman of the Guild of Traditional Upholsterers, and had their work displayed.

Mr Culpitt-Jones said that this year 14 students had achieved the level 1 diploma, 18 level 2 and 12 level 3.

Level 1 is for individuals who are new to the craft. They learn traditional stitching and make an Ottoman box.

For level 2 students create a deep back chair with deep button work as well as a modern piece such as a wing chair. Level 3 students create an armchair and a concave chair as their modern piece.

Many of the students who achieved level one or level two will be continuing to the next level.

Mr Culpitt-Jones, who lives in the village, said: “This is recognition for all the hard work they have done over the year.

“The standard was exceptional. We’re looking at the standard of their stitching, how the fabric has been laid and the overall finish.

“It was nice to have other people looking at not just their siblings or partner’s work but at other people’s too.”

He and Mr Rees used to teach at different training centres but decided to join forces and open a school in October 2017 as there was nothing like it nearby.

Mr Culpitt-Jones: “We hope we’ll get bigger so may have to look at moving somewhere else locally.

“It’s nice to pass on the knowledge we have to other people. They may not run a commercial workshop like I do but they might do it from home.”

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