The Next Steps - The Incubation Workshop

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Next Steps – The Incubation Workshop

Taking the next steps - the incubation workshop...

There’s always a mix of feelings on a student’s last day – we are always sad to say goodbye – but equally excited to follow their progress out in the real world.

Student, Jan Lennon, has impressed us since day of her one year furniture designer maker course.

Joining us from a CGI and product designer background, Jan’s ability to use drawing and 3D visualisation software to develop and plan her designs, has been nothing short of impressive. She has a natural flair for design, and she is inquisitive about a variety of technologies that has subsequently enriched her practical work. It’s been a pleasure to teach Jan the high level cabinetmaking skills to help realise her designs.

So it is with great curiosity we follow Jan’s next steps. That is even easier since Jan has decided to take on bench space in the Williams and Cleal incubation workshop!

We know that the start-up period for any new furniture business is costly, and it can be challenging to equip any new workshop space. The incubation workshop is part of our continuing commitment to help our students, and with the school only a few miles down the road, we are always very happy to help and advise those in the incubation workshop on their projects - even after their course. We look forward to Jan popping in for a cup of (proper) coffee to show us her future designs and projects.

Jan will be using the incubation workshop bench space to make a wardrobe in Sweet Chestnut – and it will feature 3D printed handles depicting an alpine mountain and hut landscape.

Jan will also be sharing the incubation workshop with two of our past students – Maria and Charlie – who have been operating their successful furniture business out of the incubation space for two years now.

Charlie and Maria have worked hard to build up their business, Byron and Gomez, and have built up a good client base – promoting their brand at numerous exhibitions and trade shows. They have also been proactive at applying for and winning a place on craft business development schemes such as the Crafts Council’s Hothouse development programme - raising the profile of their new company within the craft community.

You can find out more about Byron and Gomez at or follow them on Instagram @byronandgomez.

If you would like to find out more about our furniture making incubation workshop, or are interested in renting bench space, please contact us on 01984 667555 or


Top – The incubation workshop

Bottom – Jan Lennon working on her Walnut and Olive Ash Dressing Table