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Crawley College carpentry student shows off creative crafts

13 May 2021

A carpentry & joinery apprentice at Crawley College has been showcasing his talent.

Dane Hirst has been building up an incredible portfolio of original woodwork pieces after taking on several furniture and design projects in his spare time.

Dane’s drawn inspiration from many different countries, having spent time working on various charity projects around the world after graduating Northumbria University in 2013 – where he studied fine art and photography.

Dane said: “After two, very unglamorous years as a ‘starving artist’, I realised I needed to do two things; gain some real experience and make a living, which lead me to teaching abroad.

“Whilst living abroad I always seemed to find work on more practical projects; I helped build a museum for children in Korea, I made display cabinets for exhibitions in Vietnam, I spent a summer installing central vacuums in Canada and I put up bespoke shelving units and closets in Kurdistan, Iraq.

“When travelling around Japan I met a carpenter, who introduced me to the concept of mingei – meaning ‘craft of the people’. This concept was exactly what I was looking for – creating with utility of purpose, wholesomely and honestly making for practical use.”

He is now back in UK as an apprentice at the college with the aim of turning a lifelong interest in carpentry into a career.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry, joinery & furniture making at Crawley College, said: “He has made some fantastic items using some really skilled techniques such as kerfing, steam bending and computer aided design to produce some wonderful furniture.

“He has shown great talent and I’ve recently recommended him to a private client for a design project.”