Ayako Furuno

The greatest asset of the Carving course is the people, both tutors and peers. It is the friendships and connections I made that I value most from my time at the Art School. The sense of support and encouragement remains as strong today as it did when I left.
The tutors are all leading practitioners of their fields and it is the access to their knowledge and experience that makes the teaching at the City and Guilds so valuable. They are also all immensely generous people.
I also benefited hugely from the financial support that was available, in the form of bursaries from the Masons’ Company. I was also awarded the Sydney Mason Award. This support meant that I was able to see my studies through to the end.

What projects were you involved in while studying at the Art School
We worked on a wide variety of projects in drawing, modelling and carving. These all complemented each other and challenged us to constantly see and think in new ways. We also had workshops with visiting lettering tutors, including Richard Kindersely, Charlotte Howarth, Brenda Berman and Phil Surey.
The History of Art module was also an integral part of the course and helped to put our carving work into context. The trip to Venice with tutors and fellow students from across other disciplines was particularly special.

What are you up to now
Since leaving the Art School, I embarked on a three-month ‘Journeyman’ scheme with the letter carver John Neilson. This was sponsored by the Lettering Arts Trust, who also awarded me the Harriet Frazer Bursary Award.
I am currently a self-employed letter carver. Work has been a combination of: carving for established letter cutters, which has been a fantastic education in itself; my own letter carving commissions; and showing in a number of exhibitions around the country. I have recently received a Travel Bursary from the Fresh Air Sculpture Show.

Ayako Furuno received bursary support from the City & Guilds Institute and Sydney Mason, she won the Neil Shannon Memorial award for Stone Carving.


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