Important Information

Covid-19 update for November/December 2021



November 2018

In October, 11 of our lucky Stonemasonry students visited Florence, Italy for a week. They visited the Duomo Palazzo Vecchio, Pietre Dura St Croc and the Academia Gallery.

The group, accompanied by Stonemasonry tutors Nigel and Andy explored sites such as Carrara Fantiscritti mine and visited historical and cultural landmarks including incredible The Statue of David, by Michelangelo. Students learned about the mining process and the differences between working with stone and marble. The students studied the Duomo complex from ground to the roof looking at all aspects of the buildings design and construction. Head of Stonemasonry Nigel Gilkison said

The trip is not only an ice breaker for new students but puts what the students are learning in to context from the outset of the course. We have the great opportunity to look behind the scenes of fantastic buildings meet wonderful crafts people who openly share their knowledge with the students. The student gains a much deeper knowledge of the whole stone Industry not just from the UK but Europe as well.

This fantastic trip was funded by:
Worshipful Company of Carpenters, Worshipful Company of Masons and the Building crafts College.

We have places available on Stonemasonry courses now so apply and enrol and you could be coming along on our next trip!

November 2015

The winners of the 44th annual Wood Awards were announced at a ceremony held on the 10th November at Carpenters’ Hall in London hosted by broadcaster and architectural historian, Tom Dyckhoff.  Past BCC students had great success with Emma Leslie and Butler Hegarty Architects taking home awards. Emma won the Student Designer People’s Choice Award for her Slatted Chair. New for 2015, the Student Designer Furniture & Product category was introduced to recognise the value of student work in wood. Butler Hegarty Architects received Highly Commended within the Existing Building category for The Master’s House.

The Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

Slatted Chair

Designer: Emma Leslie

College/University: Building Crafts College

Timber Supplier: Brooks Bros Timber

Wood Species: Maple, Cherry

Handmade from sustainable hardwoods using traditional techniques such as bridle and tenon joints, this chair was inspired by the architectural forms of Alvar Aalto and designed to focus on structure. The designer’s aim was to make a seat suspended inside a frame, similar to the inside/outside of a building. It has the feel of an armchair, but is light in its structure.

The Master’s House

Location: Ledbury, Herfordshire

Client/Owner: Herefordshire Council

Architect/Conservation Specialist: Butler Hegarty Architects

Structural Engineer: Hockley and Dawson Consulting Engineers

Main Contractor/Builder: Speller Metcalfe

Joinery Company: Splitlath Building Conservation

Interior Joinery: Woodcraft Joinery Ltd

Wood Supplier: OakbeamUK

Wood Species: European Oak, Green Oak, Russian Birch Plywood, European Beech

Located in the market town of Ledbury, the Grade II* listed Master’s House has a timber frame medieval building at its core encased in later Georgian and Victorian additions. The building is part of the medieval St. Katherine’s Hospital site. The Master’s House has been repaired and regenerated as a public building with a range of facilities including a library.

The completeness of the medieval timber frame that forms the two-storey, three-bayed Central Hall with cross wings at either end built c.1487 has been revealed. Sufficient fragments remained of the timber frame to develop an accurate evidence based reconstruction. Repairs were carried out using traditional carpentry techniques and semi seasoned European oak was selected to match the extraordinary large scale of the frame. Salvaged oak was used for small patch repairs, matching in grain and texture, and new oak was matched for grain, texture and growth. Contemporary birch ply and beech veneer counters, bookcases, desks, doors and shelves have been created throughout the building. 18th and 19th century joinery has been retained and used in other parts of the building.

The Central Hall originally had an 18th century ceiling which, when removed, revealed the medieval roof for the first time in 250 years. To stabilize the medieval roof structure a new second roof structure was formed using Hempcrete cassettes. 45 wattle and daub panels were also repaired in the main timber frame using local riven hazel whittles and oak staves.

Further information about the Wood Awards can be found at

Processed with VSCOcam with b3 preset

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!”