Furniture Design & Making 2
Take your woodworking and furniture making skills to the next level with the Furniture Design and Making Year 2 course. Advanced woodworking, computer aided manufacture and finishing techniques are taught in parallel with analysis, critical thinking and problem solving skills to enable you to create thoughtful, functional and beautiful furniture. To maximize your learning potential on this course, a competency with woodworking tools and machinery is required.
The course is supported by an excellently equipped workshop and IT resources. These include all of the expected woodworking equipment, a new industrial grade panel saw, heated spray booth, CNC router and our new laser cutting equipment.
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)
Alexia Rouvrais describes her experiences in the college and on the course, the support, the creative freedom and progression opportunities. (Watch on YouTube)
You can find more student testimonials farther down this page, under 'Testimonials and Highlights'.
Rory Drinan, FD2
QQI Level 6
Furniture Design & Making
This is a one year course.
Leaving Certificate, QQI Level 5 in a related area, 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:
- Furniture Design
This subject will provide an understanding of the strategies used in furniture design. It addresses the function, appearance, construction and sustainability of furniture designs.
In this core subject, you will explore materials
- Furniture Making with Machinery
Machinery can extend the abilities of a maker by introducing accuracy and repeatability. Learn how to produce high quality work efficiently and safely on our equipment which includes a state of the art digital panel saw and a variety of specialised saws, planers and sanders. You will also learn to use power tools such as the Domino jointing system as well as routing, panel connecting systems and jig making.
- History of Furniture
Every designer needs to know their Art Deco from their elbow. This class brings you through all of the major historical styles and design movements.
- 3D Design Materials
This module focuses on 3D materials, their use in design and the processes used to work them. There is a particular emphasis on CNC routing, laser cutting and 3D printing, and on the drawing and design software that supports these processes.
- Computer Aided Draughting
This subject has been designed to expand on the Level 5 module to provide a deeper understanding of draughting particularly for furniture working drawings. We build on this knowledge adding 3D Sketchup drawing and rendering of designs for presentation.
- Wood Finishing
Develops the practical skills of spraying and hand finishing as required in the furniture making industry as well as for furniture restoration.
- Furniture Restoration
Equips the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to evaluate furniture, create restoration schedules and safely apply appropriate materials in the context of furniture restoration.
- Work Experience
This module helps students to place themselves in a professional work environment. This gives them real hands on experience in their chosen field.
This module helps the student to develop the necessary skills to represent themselves professionally in their practise. This is done through investigating and responding to the specific needs of the industry.
Career opportunities exist as furniture makers in furniture workshops, or as self-employed makers after a suitable period of professional experience.
- MTU: BSc Craft Technology (Wood) (CR077)
- MTU: BSc Interior Architecture (CR053)
- UCC: BSc Architecture (CK606)
- GMIT Letterfrack: BSc Furniture and Wood Technology (GA971)
- GMIT 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.
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)
Tadgh Moriarty (Watch on YouTube)
Tom Dalton FD2
My furniture work blends contemporary approaches to traditional processes with a sensitivity towards material choices. With a background in craft and fine art, there is a playful approach to materiality in my work; designs often present an element of the unexpected. Subtle juxtaposition of texture and form, colour and line are all important.
I am inspired by vernacular art and design as well as the coastal landscape where I grew up. The tones and textures of sand dunes, the sea, wild gorse and sea-pink wildflowers are reflected in materials such as wool felt, pale hardwoods, water-based stains and milk paints in my work.I strive to embrace holistic systems of design, production, and consumption that benefit our world environmentally, socially, and economically. Materials where possible are sustainable, locally sourced and approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Reflections on the course
The year 2 Furniture Design and Making Course has been a wonderful learning experience.
The tutors are highly skilled, knowledgeable, patient and approachable. There is a strong emphasis on experimentation and exploration through materials. Course modules are well structured, outcome driven, and encourage innovation. For me, the course promotes an in-depth understanding of design thinking and manufacturing processes that are applicable to so many areas of design and manufacturing industries. I have considerably broadened my knowledge of design and workshop processes and have now found employment in an area where my new skills are utilized and built upon. I would strongly recommend the course to anyone interested in exploring their creativity through a wide range of materials and processes.
Rory Drinan is a contemporary furniture designer originally from the south of England, currently based in Cork City. Coming from a fine art background, in recent years his practice has moved into the field on furniture making. "I create modern, unique pieces that concentrate of both form and function in equal measure".
He is influenced by designers and artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Ettore Sottsass and Piet Mondrian; in particular their use of bold, bright colours and strong linear forms.
His work has been selected for exhibitions including 'Sensibility' at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa and 'Emerge' in Wandesford Quay which was curated by Roisin Foley as part of the 2017 Cork Craft Month to showcase the talents of up and coming makers.
Rory has found his time at CSN to be hugely beneficial learning curve in his career, not only for the various new methods of making he has added to his skillset but also in the preparation for finding future employment. Rory plans to broaden his skills in the field of digital fabrication after the course and eventually aims to start his own business.
Don Joyce operating the Altendorf panel saw in the CSN workshop
Michael McFadden, FD2, Cabinet from upcycled materials