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June 2, 2010

On Monday, May 31, the Victoria Airport Authority welcomed five new tables designed and constructed by students in Camosun’s Fine Furniture program. Travelers can appreciate the artistic functionality of the tables, finding one in the soft seating area adjacent to the Capital Brew Coffee Bar and the others in the Eagles Landing Observation Lounge.

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This is the second time the airport has received custom-designed tables from the Fine Furniture program. In 2005, Victoria Airport Authority executive director Richard Pacquette attended a Fine Furniture end-of-year exhibition and was impressed with what he saw. He approached instructor Ken Guenter to ask if the program curriculum could incorporate a special project for the airport. Guenter happily accepted the challenge, and those first tables are still being used in the departures/check-in area. Because the public has responded so positively to the unique tables, Pacquette suggested a repeat of the project.

“One of the wonderful aspects of this project is that the students in the Fine Furniture program get a real life learning experience and we cannot thank the Victoria Airport Authority enough for giving us this opportunity,” says Ken Guenter.

“Each of the 17 students in this year’s class had the opportunity to design a table for a real client. The students were asked to design tables that were based upon a theme of airplanes, airports or the accoutrements of air travel. This theme had to be dovetailed with the needs of the airport: i.e. specific sizes, finishes and durability. Once the designs had been refined and put together in an understandable format, they were presented to a review panel from the Airport Authority and it was their job to pick five designs. After the selection process students were then advised as to who the successful designers were and then were divided into five groups. It was each group’s task to figure out how to build the table they were assigned, determine if any design changes where required, make drawings, materials lists, cutting lists and finally fabricate and finish the tables.”

Fine Furniture program has wide appeal

Camosun’s ten-month Fine Furniture program attracts students of all ages and backgrounds, from recent high school graduates to graduates of university art and design programs, and from self-trained hobbyists to people looking for a career in cabinet and millwork production. In previous years male students were in the majority, but this year’s class reversed that trend, with eleven women and six men.

Students learn about furniture design and production as it relates to craft and industry plus the joinery trade as it relates to apprenticeship and Red Seal certification. “We hover somewhere in the middle of the trades and the arts, with bits of technology for spice,” explains Guenter.

Sit Happens: seating in western maple and assorted other woods

Each year Camosun’s Fine Furniture students’ final project is to design and build an artistic yet functional chair. Wood for these final projects is donated by the Vancouver Island Woodworkers Guild.

The public is invited to view these final projects at the 2010 Grad Exhibit, Sit Happens.

  • Opens: Friday, June 18 at 7pm
  • Runs: June 18-27
  • Located: Collective Works Gallery, 1311 Gladstone Avenue.
  • Gallery hours: 11-6 Tuesday-Thursday, 11-8 Friday-Saturday and 1-5 Sundays

Last updated: June 2, 2010 9:04 am

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