WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 5

Workshop, hand tools and workbench all come together to create an environment conducive to woodworking. A peaceful, serene area in

which we can unleash our creativity and develop hand to eye skills.

MAKER EVOLUTION

5

The thought of spending hours designing and creating tangible products can be a great source of satisfaction. In recent years, a growing cohort of people have embraced creativity in their lives. Furniture making as a living is appealing. Doing this for a living, either part-time or full-time, can be very rewarding and gratifying. So, you have taken the leap into being a furniture maker. The next logical step after becoming a furniture maker is to establish yourself as a business. Having started and developed four woodworking businesses, I can attest to the excitement of seeing a business grow. I like to tell people that if the business revolves around something you enjoy doing, success is assured. The title of this article refers to Living the Dream. The caveat to this statement is you need to be prepared of certain eventualities when creating furniture for others. Self-employment as a furniture maker provides independence. It creates a unique situation where you create furniture at your own pace, with no one looking over your shoulder. You are your own boss!

This article outlines and explains several other aspects of being a furniture maker. On the positive side, unlike many other fields, woodworking has been stable in its centuries-old evolution. The assumption here is that you embrace hand tools along with machinery in your furniture making. The use of hand tools is mentioned since the other extreme is a large movement towards the automation of furniture making. This article does not touch on automation, instead the focus here is traditional woodworking using basic tools and machinery. Many tools and machinery are in use today that date back a century or more. This gives you an idea of how relevant the knowledge you gain will continue to be useful and not become obsolete. In my business, I continue to use machinery and tools purchased over twenty years ago. The techniques used in my furniture making are the same as were taught to me thirty years ago.