Burnley student's 'wow' factor table is a hit at international showcase for latest furniture designs

Isabelle and her Corian desk, with Peter Watson of CDUK (left) and tutor Paul Stackhouse.
Isabelle and her Corian desk, with Peter Watson of CDUK (left) and tutor Paul Stackhouse.

A promising and innovative student at Burnley College sixth form centre has pushed the boundaries of design by creating a contemporary, stylish desk using a product normally reserved for kitchen worktops.

The stunning desk, designed and built by Isabelle Barron (18) was unveiled at the college’s annual furniture show.

Isabelle's innovative desk has been impressing leading designers

Isabelle's innovative desk has been impressing leading designers

It has since gone on display at the college's stand at the prestigious national furniture trade show in Manchester, which attracts 5,000 visitors from the international industry, to view the latest developments in design and craftsmanship.

Isabelle, who is from Clitheroe, and a former pupil at Ribblesdale High School, explained how she decided to use Corian, which general forms flat kitchen surfaces, to exploit its potential for furniture design as part of her portfolio of work.

She said: "Corian has unique properties, including its ability to be thermo-formed, which made me keen to see how far I could push both the product and my design skills.

“I’m really pleased with the finished product and would like to say thanks for all the support I received along the way, from the encouragement of my tutor, Paul Stackhouse, CDUK, the suppliers of Corian for their valuable input and advice, and Qubicle Ltd, Bolton, who created the Corian pieces using my designs.”

Peter Watson, of CDUK, travelled to the college to congratulate Isabelle and view the desk before it went on display.

He said: "We’ve really enjoyed working with such talented young designers from Burnley College sixth form centre, inviting them into our Leeds workshops to learn more about Corian and fire their imagination.

"We worked closely with Isabelle on her designs, helping her to create a desk that is both stylish, durable and a real talking point.”

Isabelle, who completed A levels in Product Design, Maths, Further Maths and Physics this summer is following her dream of a career in architectural technology, securing a place at Sheffield Hallam University to complete her degree before becoming a CIAT chartered archictural technologist.

She said: "I am fascinated by the application of materials in buildings and the structural aspect of how designing buildings can impact on people’s lives.

"It’s been my dream to work in this sphere for some time."

Karen Buchanan, who is principal of the sixth form centre said: “I’m so impressed with Isabelle’s desk, who would have thought that something that stylish and contemporary could be created from a product usually found in the kitchen?

"Isabelle’s curiosity and ability to question preconceptions is something we actively encourage at Burnley College sixth form centre.

"We are creating the forward thinkers and innovators of tomorrow, giving them the space and freedom to research and explore in a safe environment, with the individual support of tutors, who are experts in their chosen subjects and passionate about seeing our students succeed.”