From dairy farmer to first-class furniture maker

A former farmer turned furniture maker has graduated with first-class honours after coming to Staffordshire University through Clearing

Philippa Bourne in her graduation robes holding a scroll

Former dairy farmer Phillippa came to Staffordshire University through Clearing

If you’re bored, life’s too short! Go and make the change, don’t sit there idly complaining to everybody that you hate your job. Go and do something different…I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Phillipa Bourne, BA (Hons) 3D Designer Maker

Phillippa Bourne, 29 from Loggerheads, worked as a florist and a farmer before ‘taking the plunge’ to study woodwork at Staffordshire University. After applying through Clearing, Phillippa joined the 3D Designer Maker course just two weeks before it started.

She explained: “It was really easy…it was all online, I never even came to the University, I didn’t even come for a tour. The course leaders Dan and Tim were great, I spoke to them online, on phone calls, emails and within five days I was on the course. I got signed up for the finance, it was great really. It was a really easy process.”

During the degree, Phillippa had the opportunity to explore a range of different mediums and got hands on experience working with industry partners including Wedgwood and Duchess China, among others.

“I really enjoyed it, every minute since starting it. I met new people straight away. All from different backgrounds, some younger than me, some older, it was really nice.” Phillippa said.

“The technicians are great. We’ve got the ceramics department, we’ve got woodwork, we’ve got metalwork, resin. We’ve got the IT team as well. Everyone’s there to help you out, they want to help you."

She added: “Tim has got so many connections within the industry and so have the other tutors. We’ve had Wedgwood, we’ve had John Lewis, we’ve had KMF in Stoke, Duchess China. Keith Brymer Jones is really supportive of the course.”

Phillippa specialised in woodwork, building a hand-chiselled sideboard for her final year project and graduated with first-class honours. Last month, Phillippa and her course mates showcased their work at the New Designers exhibition in London where she secured three job interviews with Habitat, Humbleworks and a yacht-maker.

Phillipa is now focussed on working with companies to build up her reputation and one day hopes to establish her own furniture company.

She said: “Creative industries are really strong at the minute. When we went down to London, you could have a job as soon as you walked out of New Designers, straight away. They’re really struggling for makers right now…the opportunities are there and you won’t get bored.

“If you’re bored, life’s too short! Go and make the change, don’t sit there idly complaining to everybody that you hate your job. Go and do something different…I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Discover more about studying at Staffordshire University at an Open Day – book your place.

Find out if you are eligible for an offer through Clearing by using our Offer Generator, have a ‘live chat’ with current students and experts at http://www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing/ or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.

 

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