The cost of our courses have remained unchanged for over five years, due to inflation we will need to increase our prices on January 1st 2024. Any courses booked before that date will remain at our existing prices.
TOTAL COST: £295 INCLUDING 2 DAYS TUITION AT OUR WELL EQUIPPED COURSE VENUE IN CENTRAL EXETER, A SIMPLE LUNCH, TEA & COFFEE EACH DAY, 5 DAY HOME STUDY COURSE SECTION, COURSE MANUAL & ALL MATERIALS. A DEPOSIT OF £90 IS REQUIRED IN ADVANCE TO SECURE YOUR COURSE PLACE.
Two days of the course (Saturday and Sunday) are entirely practical, hands on, and are conducted at our well equipped course venue near the centre of the beautiful cathedral city of Exeter in easy reach of the M5 motorway, railway stations and airport.
There is also a 5-day home study part of the course included that provides the essential background theory to many aspects of the practical course work. This is designed to be completed by you prior to coming on the practical part of the course. Completing this short home study section ensures you will be prepared for and get the most out of the practical part of the course.
A course manual is included with the home study course, it explains the techniques you will be learning, so nothing will be forgotten when you get home after the course.
This course is for the complete beginner and acts as a basic introduction to our French Polishing system. You will receive plenty of one-to-one tuition from Peter or Josie Thomson and be taken, step by step, carefully, through all the techniques you need to learn to produce a beautiful French Polish finish.
THIS IS A LIST OF THE TOPICS WE WILL COVER ON THIS COURSE:
You will learn the correct solvents to use when removing old perished polish from an original antique surface.
You will learn about French Polish, its history, how it is made, how to use it safely and how to store it.
You will learn how to make and use a polishing rubber, the tool used to apply French Polish.
You will learn how to produce a beautiful French Polish finish using our system.
You will be shown how to recognise the different woods used in the making of antique furniture and how they change in appearance over time.
You will learn the importance of original surfaces and how to preserve them.
We will provide you with a reading list to learn more.
We will provide you with a list of suppliers of restoring materials.
You are invited to bring restoration projects you are planning to complete after the course. We will evaluate the pieces originality, age and the woods from which they are made. We will also provide restoration advice for you to carry out after the course. If you are unable to bring the pieces of furniture with you please bring photos or videos instead.
This course is held in our compact, well equipped attached workshop; Situated near the centre of the beautiful cathedral city of Exeter within easy reach of the M5 motorway, railway stations and airport.
The atmosphere is enthusiastic yet relaxed and the workshop is light, warm and the perfect learning environment for the three people (on average) attending each course.
Please see the Places to Stay section.
The first tutor is Peter Thomson. Over forty years ago after serving his apprenticeship in the family business, Peter completed his training at West Dean College, receiving a B.A.D.A diploma in the conservation and restoration of fine antique furniture. This sparked off a great love for antique furniture that culminated in the privilege of being asked to conserve and restore some of the finest antique furniture in the world. In 1980 he was invited to teach in the USA and later in the UK.
Previous clients include The National Trust, Sotheby’s, the Jordanian royal family, museums, private collectors and antique dealers in Britain and America.
Having run a successful restoration business for many years, he is very well qualified to supply the expertise required for those wishing to set up a restoration business of their own.
The second Tutor is Josie Thomson. She completed her training with distinction 14 years ago, a master craftswoman, specialising in refinishing & French Polishing techniques.Her ability to render a difficult antique furniture repair invisible is unsurpassed.
The course runs on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm - Lunch - then from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with tea breaks at 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.
TOTAL COST: £295 INCLUDING TUITION, A SIMPLE LUNCH, TEA & COFFEE EACH DAY, 5 DAY HOME STUDY COURSE SECTION, COURSE MANUAL & ALL MATERIALS. A DEPOSIT OF £90 IS REQUIRED IN ADVANCE TO SECURE YOUR COURSE PLACE.
We provide an attractive Gift Card with an enclosed course voucher that makes one of our courses the perfect birthday or other present.
Photos below show furniture being french polished using the techniques you will learn on this course.
Box before and after.
Pictures below: a fine music box being french polished using techniques learnt on this course.
Photo below: 19th century table & coromandel box being refinished using the techniques learnt on this course.
Photos below: French polishing techniques from this course used to finish a fire place, wall panelling & servery, a commission carried out by us.