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Furniture Design students excel at national competition

By UCOL on Tuesday, 07 November 2017

A photograph of UCOL's Diploma in Furniture Design Students 2017

UCOL students have walked away from the National Woodskills Competition with a haul of awards.

The National Woodskills Competition is held annually in conjunction with Kawerau Woodfest, and has often been a successful event for second year Diploma in Furniture Design and Making students. 

This year, UCOL students took out the top three places in the First Time Furniture category, with Jonathan Bos, Maehe Thompson, and Harnek Singh taking out first to third place. 

Ravi Kumar and Mohammad Al Faqeeh picked up Highly Commended awards in the First Time Furniture and Open Furniture respectively. 

Furniture Design and Making Lecturer Rowan Dicks claimed first place in the Musical Instruments category. 

Rowan believes that one of the keys to UCOL students’ ongoing success at Kawerau is that they really unlock their passion in the second year of the Diploma.

“We focus on quality projects. In the second year, the students focus on individual projects of their own design. I think that’s when a lot of them really get the passion because they’re making their own ideas a reality.”

“The quality this year is as good, if not better than last year. All of the students were keen to enter the competition, so it gives them something else to work towards as well as their qualification.” 

Student Maehe Thompson says entering the competition was a great chance to see what other furniture designers are doing around the country.

For his project, he built a multi-layered cabinet using a parquetry technique, which combines different pieces of wood in a geometric pattern.

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“I used three types of wood. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, the way you put the pieces of wood together.”  

Maehe, who has a Fine Arts degree and a background in flax-weaving, says he enrolled in the Diploma in Furniture Design and Making to diversify his skills. He says he has been able to bring some of his flax-weaving skills into his furniture design. 

Lead image: Diploma in Furniture Design and Making students Harnek Singh,  Ravi Kumar, Jonathan Bos, Maehe Thompson, and Mohammad Al Faqeeh with some of their creations.