Sam H Alumni Business


Date: 7th Jun 2016

Graduate Sam Hutchings says he is enjoying a 'brilliant stepping stone' into his career after completing his studies at Buckinghamshire New University, thanks to working for an innovative new company that the University has set up.

Sam, from Bristol, gained a first-class honours degree in Furniture: Conservation Restoration & Decorative Arts and is now working for Bucks Conservation, based at the University.

The ambitious graduate has use of the workshop and facilities at the University and has worked on a number of commissions, at the same time as setting up his own company, Love That Furniture.

One of the pieces he worked on was a three-feet-high oak altar table, which now features in the chapel at the top-rated independent school, Wycombe Abbey, in High Wycombe, and Sam is also working on private commissions and pieces from the likes of The National Trust's Waddesdon Manor, in Buckinghamshire.

Additionally, he is working on restoring a softwood dining table and an Ercol table, among other things.

Sam said the opportunity was providing a good bridge between graduating and getting his own company off the ground.

He said: "This is a great opportunity for me to take advantage of the facilities and equipment at the University and benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the lecturers.

"As well as utilising my conservation and design skills, I am learning about other areas including pricing and how best to quote firms, organisations and individuals for the work I do.”

Bucks Conservation has been set up under the banner of the National School of Furniture, based at Bucks New University and a partnership between the University and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.

Sam added: “The National School of Furniture has a lot of good contacts who need work carrying out so I am in the perfect position to be able to take that work on and also work on commissions coming into me privately."

Sam has use of a space around 20-feet-square in the furniture workshop at the University, in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe.

Bucks Conservation is aimed at channelling commercial conservation and restoration projects to recent BA (Hons) and MA Furniture Conservation, Restoration and Decorative Arts alumni to help them make the transition from education to employment within the conservation sector.

Under the guidance of the University’s furniture conservation experts, graduates gain valuable experience in a commercial environment and are employed for 12 to 18 months developing their conservation skills and expertise as well as sharpening their business skills. Selection to join the company is by interview and a portfolio review.
Dr Campbell Norman-Smith, Course Leader of the MA Furniture Conservation and Decorative Arts, said: “This is a great chance to support our most talented graduates, like Sam, and extend our expertise to a wider client base.

"We have developed an outstanding reputation over the years and often have an oversupply of commissions. Bucks Conservation helps supply meet demand and provides our graduates with exceptional commercial experience which will give them an edge when looking for employment in the conservation and restoration professions.”

For further enquiries email Julie Catlow, Business Coordinator for the National School of Furniture, at


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