Emma Leslie

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2 Year Fine Woodwork Diploma

Whilst at the BCC, Emma particularly enjoyed the amount of bench time the course offered and the access to the expert knowledge of visiting lecturers Rod Wales and Tim Kealey who taught her about construction and design solutions, and the demands and expectations of a professional practice.

Since graduating in 2014, Emma has set up her own partnership practice, Studio LW based at Workshop East in Stratford. Most of Studio LW’s work is to commission but they have also worked on public projects and collaborations including with the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Emma has recently completed a 6 month mentorship program with the Crafts Council, sponsored by Richard Paice, director of the Gordon Russell Museum. For 12 months Emma returned to the BCC to teach an evening class and currently teaches at London Metropolitan University and runs the occasional evening course at her workshop, offering a free course to local women on low or no income.

Emma was shortlisted in the Student Category of the Wood Awards 2015, and won the Peoples Choice Award. Other awards have included The Carpenters’ Company Prize in 2015, a Medal For Excellence by the City and Guilds in 2014 and she was the first woman to win Carpenters’ Craft Competition in 2014. Emma has been featured in numerous shows and publications including 100% Design, New Designers One Year On, Dezeen, Wallpaper*, Good Woodworking Magazine and Love East Magazine.

In the future, Emma hopes to continue to develop the design practice, and work on commissions and public projects. She also hopes to grow Studio LW, eventually offering BCC graduates employment. This year, Emma is planning to curate a group show featuring 6 makers of different disciplines.

“The course is almost 100% practical, and therefore allowed the students to focus on the making, and reach a level of accomplishment that enabled me to confidently take commissions as soon as I left.”

“I took a great risk giving up my job to study Fine Woodwork, I have no regrets, and those two years were two of the most enjoyable of my life!”