Furniture Design & Making 1
This course allows you to learn an amazing craft while exploring your creativity. Through our workshop-based learning you can develop competency with hand tools and woodworking machinery. From traditional woodworking methods, progress to machine and digital fabrication in our fully equipped workshops and studio spaces. You will also learn life drawing, technical graphics and CAD tools which support your design and making process.
Our workshop is more than an educational space, it is a creative environment where you learn as much from your class colleagues as you do from the tutors. Work experience, field trips and expert talks complete the experience.
Folding Screen - Vincent Griffin. Each piece is individually hinged allowing the screen to form a variety of organic shapes.
QQI Level 5
Furniture Design & Making
This is a one year course but students on successful completion of year one may progress to Furniture Design & Making 2.
Leaving Certificate or equivalent. All applicants are interviewed and places are awarded on suitability. Mature students without formal qualifications are most welcome to apply.
The following subjects may be offered:
The heart of the furniture making course is the bench work. Here you will use all the traditional main woodworking hand tools accurately and precisely to achieve professional standard of woodwork. You will also learn how to use woodwork machinery to process rough timber making it ready for joining and shaping at the bench. Colouring and finishing by hand or in the spray booth will also be part of your skillset.
Design is taught across the two furniture years. In year 1 you will learn a process for generating pattern, harnessing inspiration and developing your own project ideas. Your work in this class flows into the workshop where it is refined and finally realised as furniture pieces.
Makers and designers communicate in drawing, it’s their first language. Through life drawing and sketching you will learn how to capture the world on paper, how to visualise ideas and present them to others. On the drawing pad is where most projects are born.
You will also learn technical graphics to capture and communicate size and shape of furniture pieces and to finalise details of construction. This is an essential skill and is transferrable to many workshop and engineering activities.
Computer Aided Design (2D)
CAD is the digital version of technical graphics, and in a digital world it has become hugely important as a means of specifying and distributing plans. You will use this for conventional workshop drawings, for communication to clients, and increasingly for our rapid prototyping equipment including 3D printer and laser cutter. Also widely used in construction, engineering, architecture and product design.
Materials and Finishes
This component complements the wood based workshop elements of the course by exploring a range of materials, their properties and uses in furniture design. These practical exercises also introduce our 3D printing and laser cutting equipment opening up new approaches to design and manufacture. The subject is rounded off with a comprehensive introduction to a variety of wood finishes, ranging from traditional oil through to modern spray finishes in our fully equipped spray booth.
The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to practice effective problem solving in everyday life and vocationally specific contexts, operating independently while under general direction.
Safety and Health in Work
This component aims to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to promote and maintain safety and health in a work environment.
Becoming immersed in real world studios and workshops is an invaluable means of learning your trade. One day a week you will be in a professional workshop assisting on live projects. We will help you find a suitable match to your interests.
Career opportunities exist as furniture makers in furniture workshops or as self-employed makers after a suitable period of professional experience. Skills learned on the course are also relevant to range of wood based trades, interior design, fitting and product design activities.
For full details on progression opportunities see these links:
Cork Colleges Progression Scheme
- Cork College of FET, Tramore Road Campus: Furniture Design & Making 2
- GMIT Letterfrack: BSc Furniture and Wood Technology (GA971)
- ATU Letterfrack: BSc Furniture Design and Manufacture (GA970)
Students who wish to use the links to further studies will need to attain a certain level of achievement in their QQI award.
Arto DeWarenne discusses his experience on CSN's Furniture Design & Construction course, and how he combined it with his background in intrument design. (Watch on YouTube)
Colin Sinclair discusses his experience on CSN's Furniture Design & Construction course (Watch on YouTube)
Mark O'Keeffe, architect, talks about his time as a student on the Furniture Design course in CSN (Watch on YouTube)
Alexia Rouvrais (Watch on YouTube)
Tadgh Moriarty (Watch on YouTube)
One of this year’s events was attending the Make:Shift design conference in the Helix in UCD.
Rory Drinan, who completed FD1 and FD2 and will be graduating in September 2018.
Console table by Emer Hurley on show at the 2016 Emerge exhibition as part of Cork Craft Month.
A number of furniture students from CSN are due to show at the 2018 Emerge exhibition in Cork City Hall this August. The exhibitions showcases emerging talent in furniture, jewellery and other disciplines.
Students will attend field trips to cover tree identification and forestry management.
A number of visiting lecturers, makers and designers deliver lectures on particular topics. Students undertake work experience as an essential part of the course.