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Ben Hebbert

The end of an era: London College of Furniture (as was)

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There's a a few of us around Maestronet who cut our teeth at the Shoreditch Technical College, London College of Furniture, City of London Polytechnic, London Guildhall University, or London Metropolitan University, Sir John Cass Department of Art & Design, or quite whatever it happened to be called at one or other time in it's tortured 111-year history. 

 

One merger after another has seen the resources of the college depleted as the university has looked increasingly to bums-on-seats than concerning itself with the responsibility of preserving a course that adds so much that is unique, vibrant and important to the cultural life of our society. It seems a century ago when there were lutes, viols, violins, early and modern guitars, all manner of woodwind, harpsichords, organs and early pianos being built and modern ones restored, but those are the workshops that many of us trained in quite recently! It's sad to hear that they won't be recruiting students for next year, and the course is set to be axed. Whatever the shortcomings of poor funding, it trained a good number of people across all the spectrum of the musical world, and gave many more people more confidence to believe in themselves than a classroom-based training could ever achieve. Even though violin making sloped off the curriculum five years ago, it's important to us all. 

 

There's a petition (for what it's worth) to see it saved. If increased awareness of it's demise isn't enough to save it, it may be enough to highlight how precious our remaining instrument making schools are to the world. I encourage you to sign it and share it in every way you can...

 

Follow the link here: https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-closure-of-the-cass-instrument-makers-degree

 

Thank you. :)

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Ben, Are you just taking the piss out of Ski? isn't that a little cruel?

 

The timing really did strike me as more than ironic...

 

I had avoided saying that I taught instrument history and a thing called instrument design analysis on the course for three or four years - so yes, on paper this had the capacity to be  very much the utopian course of Ski's dreams... 

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I haven't been to London for quite some time and mostly hide and work in my dungeon, but if I remember correctly wasn't the collection of instruments at the V and A under the department of antique furniture?  Was there any connection between the two? I know that the V and A had it's own restoration lab but was there a cross over?. There was a petition several years back to keep the musical instrument collection alive. How did that fare?

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Not many links on the all encompassing internet now about ye LCF. So, Thanks for the mention, somebody indeed had the front to ask I'd had any formal training. So I can send them this link to prove the LCF ever even existed!

Thomas Murach

Edited by Thomas Murach
spèling aurôre

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5 hours ago, Thomas Murach said:

Not many links on the all encompassing internet now about ye LCF. So, Thanks for the mention, somebody indeed had the front to ask I'd had any formal training. So I can send them this link to prove the LCF ever even existed!

Thomas Murach

I have proof that the Shoreditch college existed. This label is from an art and crafts style cabinet in my study made by one of the students there. I think the date is circa 1907 (its on there somewhere). Contempories of  this student  went on to make it big in the furniure world. Ercol furniture is one make that came out of the college via Lucian R Ercol, a student of that same year.

 

arts and crafts label.jpg

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It's seems to be happening everywhere, Ben. My condolences, and I hope that they will see the light and reverse course. The IU program is supposed to come back, from what I've heard, this fall - though they've yet to name a professor, and classes start very soon.

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I'm in the US and wanted to attend the LCF in 1970.  I went through a lot of work to get the LCF approved to accept US DOE funds, grants,  loans.  I was unable to attend.  this is sad.

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