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, 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 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 the fascinating world of antique furniture repair, conservation and refinishing techniques. You will receive plenty of one-to-one tuition from Peter and Josie Thomson and be taken, step by step, carefully through some basic cabinet repair and traditional hand finishing techniques required in the sympathetic restoration of antique furniture.
THIS IS A LIST OF THE TOPICS WE WILL COVER IN THIS COURSE:
You will learn how to sensitively and efficiently dismantle fine antique furniture without doing further damage to the piece. You will learn about our dismantling methods, the reversed clamping system, paired wedges and other tools used for this purpose.
Once the piece of furniture is apart, you will learn how to efficiently remove old glue, and dirt from the joints in the right way so all original surfaces and the integrity of the joints are preserved.
Then we will show you how to reassemble the piece of furniture using the right clamping systems, the right glues and again ensuring all original surfaces are preserved.
You will learn how to let in a small veneer patch. First choosing the right section of veneer so it matches the piece of furniture in figure, pore size and colour.
You will learn how to re-glue a small area of lifting veneer.
You will learn the careful cleaning and re-waxing of an original antique surface.
You will learn the correct solvents to use when removing old perished polish from an original antique surface.
You will learn about shellac polish, its history, how it is made, how to use it safely and how to store it. (Shellac is the only varnish to use on antique furniture. It is an ingredient in the making of French Polish)
You will learn how to make and use a polishing rubber, the tool used to apply shellac polish.
You will learn about wax polish, how to use it, its history, how it is made and how to store it.
You will be shown some of the ways to spot a fake.
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 photos of simple furniture restoration projects you are planning for the future. 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. It will not be possible for you to bring any furniture to the course.
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. He is a 4th generation master craftsman.He completed a traditional training at his family’s antique furniture restoration workshops and then attended West Dean College where he received a B.A.D.A diploma in antique furniture restoration and conservation in 1974. He has worked for the National Trust, Sotheby’s, the Jordanian Royal family, museums, private collectors and dealers both here and in the U.S.A. He started teaching over 35 years ago. He has renovated some of the world’s most rare, beautiful and valuable antique furniture. 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 and French Polishing techniques. Her ability to render a difficult antique furniture repair invisible is unsurpassed.
DATES FOR THIS COURSE
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 WEEKEND TUITION AT OUR WORKSHOPS IN EXETER, A SIMPLE LUNCH, TEA & COFFEE EACH DAY, 5 DAY HOME STUDY COURSE SECTION, COURSE MANUAL AND 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.
Students carefully taking pieces of antique furniture apart using the dismantling & labelling systems from this course. The third photo shows a table ready for reassembly.
Students carefully reassembling pieces of furniture using the methods from this course.
Students repolishing antique furniture using the methods from this course.
Before and after restoration