Centre for Fine Woodworking - Furniture Makers’ Programme

New Zealand's premier furniture making, woodworking & design school



Furniture Makers’ Programme

The Furniture Makers’ Programme is a 32 week intensive course designed and developed by practising furniture makers and teachers intended for the serious woodworker.

The programme provides an unparalleled opportunity for students who want to get to grips with the essence of fine furniture–making with an emphasis on the mastery of traditional woodworking skills and processes.

The programme broadly speaking has two aims; firstly, to teach students to become proficient in a wide range of technical woodworking disciplines, and secondly, to give students the skills, understanding and confidence to design and develop their own work.

The focus of the early part of the course is for students to develop hand skills, accuracy and gain confidence and competence in using the fundamental woodworking machinery. As the programme progresses into the second term there is more and more freedom for students to challenge themselves with their own design and constructional decisions in producing work which clearly shows the extent to which their skills, personal approach to fine woodworking and design style has developed.

By the end of the programme, each student will have created a collection of work which will be the foundation of their own portfolio, with all work being professionally photographed.

For some it will provide a firm foundation from which they may go on to build careers in the field, either through setting up their own workshops or initially taking their experience to work alongside other established designer/furniture–makers. For others it may be used to enormously enhance the pleasure they get from their own personal woodworking practice.

Either way, it will undoubtedly be a life–changing and enriching experience.

Browse through the gallery pages of our website to see graduate student work from previous years.

For more information please download the 2019 Programme Prospectus, or contact us to arrange a visit or for further details.

Enrolment and Course Fees:
You can make an application to attend the Furniture Makers’ Programme at any time and places are offered on a first come, first served basis. The course fee for the 2019 programme is $24950. As places on the programme are strictly limited, on the acceptance of your application a non–refundable registration fee of $350 is payable to reserve your place until the 25% deposit of the full course fee is payable on 1st December 2018. The full balance of the course fee is payable on 1st February 2019.

Full details and our terms and conditions are in the Prospectus. The course fee does not include the cost of timber but does include the cost of most consumable materials i.e. glue, sandpaper, screws, etc. As students are given a wide choice of timber options these are calculated and invoiced term by term.

Term by Term Enrolment:
Students may be able to enrol for individual terms and/or courses within the full time programme. Students who have not previously attended an introductory / beginners course here prior to enrolling in more advanced courses within the full time programme will need to discuss with us their skill level and experience. However, please note that priority is always given to those students completing all four terms.

The Furniture Makers' programme


Enrolling on a course

To enrol on a course or workshop - please complete the form below. As the maximum number of students we have in any class is eight, some of our courses fill up quickly so please check with us first if there is a space available - we wouldn't want you to be disappointed.

To secure a place we require a non-refundable deposit of $350 and once this is received we will confirm your enrolment. The balance of the course fee is due 30 days prior to the start of the course.

Please complete the form below or if you prefer please phone us on
(03) 5452674.

Please use the form below to give details of the course you wish to enrol on.

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The Furniture Makers' programme
The Furniture Makers' programme



Applications are now open
for 2019

23rd April – 6th December 2019

Term 1:
Introduction to Fine Woodworking
Cabinet Making

Term 2:
Steam bending & laminating
Curvature – Design & Make a Hall Table


Term 3:
Chair Making – set project
Chair Design & Make Project

Term 4:
Final project (s)

Please contact us for more details for the 2020 Programme



Or select one of our other courses...

Master Classes

Master Classes are frequently available to assist students to move from project–based courses into opportunities for designing and creating their own work and developing complex skills.

Artist in Residence – Michael Fortune