WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 15

The following narrative describe key parts of my journey of becoming a furniture designer + maker. Hopefully, this provides clarity of the struggle and overcoming negative aspects in your own journey. The positives outweigh negatives by far. Through this article, I hope to instill that it was in fact a journey to becoming a furniture maker. Although it may appear discouraging, coping with the difficulties strengthened me and confirmed my will to arrive at the destination. My goal was to seek validation as a furniture maker and be in a place where creating furniture would be second nature.

The period from 2005 through 2007 breathed new life into my woodworking. Although continuing to make and sell jewelry boxes, my focus shifted to larger pieces of furniture. As a follower and admirer of James Krenov, I became drawn to standalone cabinets since this was his signature style of furniture. Standalone cabinets were also portable and easily disassembled for transport. Figured woods could be selected for components of the cabinet.

The challenge of creating beautiful cabinets in the Scandinavian-inspired style of James Krenov, my new woodworking idol, would be rewarding. By late 2007, a series of courses were completed at the Rosewood Studio furniture making school. Afterward, I was keen on building a first display cabinet featuring my newly acquired skills. Unlike the smaller jewelry boxes, there is a considerable investment in wood in a standalone cabinet. Although a cabinet built on spec (speculation) could be created with the intent to sell it, a commission is preferred.

In the next while I sought clients interested in owning such a cabinet. Not long after, I met with a friend and explained my situation. We discussed several options with mention she always wanted a large jewelry cabinet. Instead of a series of smaller jewelry boxes, she preferred a larger cabinet. A display cabinet configured as a jewelry armoire was immediately envisioned. The armoire would need to be large to accommodate her jewelry.

An insight into the aspirations and defining moments in the quest to be a

furniture maker. This article chronicles a personal account of the journey.



by Norman Pirollo