3D Large: Wood


We have workshops for wood, metal, casting/plaster, paint surface including a large spray room.

The workshop is equipped with the following: 

  • Fixed equipment consists of bandsaws, pillar driils, large sander/linishers, mitre saw, a mitre guillotine and laminating press
  • A large number of portable power tools and hand tools for use in the workshop area
  • The High Risk Workshop is equipped with a vertical panel saw, for very accurate dimensioning of sheet materials, a table saw, which is mainly used for ripping (dimensioning timber lengths), a large sliding mitre saw for cross cutting timber and a large 3 axis CNC router, whose potential is to be explored
  • The open access workbench space is equipped with both workbenches and air benches (for sanding /dust type activities)

Questions answered by 3D Large Technical Coordinator Pete Smithson.

What can students do here?

We have workshops for wood, metal, casting/plaster, paint surface including a large spray room. I like to think that, within reason, students can make pretty much anything. What’s great about the workshops is they are all next to each other and we have a great staff team, so it’s easy for students to work right across the area depending on their needs. Most of the staff are from a Fine Art background and the workshops are set up to accommodate individual’s work, which I think gives us the flexibility to cope with a wide range of practices, from Fine Art to Industrial Design.

What is the most common request you get?

Every request is different because every student is an individual with individual needs.

Is there a particular project you remember?

Not really, I guess I have seen so many students over the years, I’m ¾ through a life sentence (joking), that means things get a bit blurry, but I’ve always enjoyed working with students to achieve their outcomes. What’s good about the job is the variety and learning with the students how to achieve both the possible and impossible.

Have you ever had to say to a student that a project was impossible?

No is not an answer. Most things are achievable if the students really want to do it, there may be some compromises on the way, but I think that’s part and parcel of making work and its not a bad thing, if things are not always straight forward, everyone learns from it.

How does the workshop fit in with the overall history of CSM?

I started working as a Foundation Technician in 1982 at Saint Martins (as it was then). Over the years the workshops changed, they used to be very course specific, so painting had their own workshop, sculpture another one. I was always a bit of an outsider working with new courses (Fine Art and Critical Studies then Critical Fine Art Practice) and adapting the workshops to suit, as well as building new ones, such as a video editing suite and sound room. I guess, the biggest change to the workshops, came when the Technicians in Fine Art became more autonomous, we became our own bosses. This idea has eventually lead to where we are now at CSM, were we have seven distinct technical areas working across a whole range of courses.

What makes this workshop a special place at CSM?

I like to think that we give students support, time and space, in an enjoyable atmosphere, for them to achieve their goals.