Centre for Fine Woodworking - Furniture Makers’ Programme

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



Furniture Makers’ Programme

The Furniture Makers’ Programme is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the art and practise of fine woodworking, in a world—class facility under the guidance of renowned woodworkers. The programme will provide an unparalleled opportunity for students who really want to get to grips with the essence of fine woodworking in contemporary practise. Students will become conversant and competent with many of the critical processes and understanding that fine woodworking involves; however, learning and understanding never ceases in this highly creative and dynamic field. The programme is not attempting to provide training for the furniture industry, nor offering entry into a structured job market at the end of the course. It is a highly individualised process, in many ways more akin to a training in the Arts, and it is as much about extending students creative potential as it is about accumulating technical mastery.

For some it will, of course, 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 practise. Either way, it will undoubtedly be a life—changing and enriching experience.

During the 32 weeks spent here in the workshop, you will learn all the main technical elements of fine furniture making and create a collection of work which will be the foundation of your portfolio.

David Haig is the Lead Tutor of the full time Furniture Makers’ Programme and each year we invite an eminent maker/tutor to teach part of the programme to give students a different perspective and a wider wealth of knowledge to tap into. In 2018 we will welcome the return of Brian Reid.

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

For more information please contact us or to enrol please download the Furniture Makers — Prospectus and Application Form.

Enrolment and Course Fees:
You can enrol on the full time programme at any time and places are offered on a first come, first served basis. The course fee for the 2018 programme is $22400 if paid in full prior to the start of the course. As places on the full time programme are strictly limited, a non—refundable registration fee of $350 with your completed application form is payable to reserve a place. A 10% deposit of the full course fee is payable on 1st December 2017 with the balance due 1st February 2018.

The course fees can also be paid in four equal instalments totalling $23900 which does not attract the discount given for course fees paid in full prior to the start of the programme.

Full details and our terms and conditions are in the Prospectus (document links below). 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 given to those students completing all four terms.


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

Term 1:
Hand skills
Introduction to hand & machine cut joinery
Cabinet Making, frame & panel

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)

23rd April – 6th December 2019



The Furniture Makers' 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.

With Michael Fortune

Master Classes – The Linguini Stool

Master Classes – Embellishing your work

Master Classes – Photographing your own work

Artist in Residence – Michael Fortune