I work with wood for a living, and am generally out in the shop six days a week from about 10:30-11:00 AM until 7-8:00 PM every night. Pretty much the same number of working hours per day as normal people, just shifted over a few hours as a courtesy to the neighbors. (besides: who wants to hear the lilting song of a router chewing through bubinga at 8:AM, anyway??)
Besides working with WOOD online as a forum host, I'm also a Board member, and hold the office of Secretary in the Chicago Furniture Designer's Association
The CFDA is a professional organization made up of furniture makers (in any medium - not just wood), college industrial arts professors, architects and industrial design professionals. You have seen some of their names and their work in the gallery pages of the top-tier woodworking magazines. Many are represented by galleries and even have pieces in museums. As I have learned, the group's strength is really in the internal network of people. And as a result, my craft, and my belief and expectations of myself, have ratcheted up considerably since joining at the beginning of 2007.
I generally keep a running photo record of what's on my bench at any given time. It's helpful to me, as I can refer back to the photos if I need to duplicate a process, or if the client has issues with a piece, or decides that they want a second copy (which has happened, actually). And it also helps the efforts here at WOOD Online, since a lot of the kinds of things I find myself getting into are a bit foreign to some folks. So it can serve as a primer to help direct the interested in how to get from start to finish on a new technique or challenge. If you haven't seen it already, look to my BLOG
here at WOOD Online for details and photos of what's been on my bench lately.
Now, I realize that some may wonder how a 40-something guy can be out in the shop all the time. Well, thanks to a corporate closure in 2001 I was given a rare chance to hit the "restart' buton in life. I'd spent the prior 20+ years mostly wearing a dress shirt and a tie for a living. But it didn't satisfy. I believe that some people are just genetically pre-programmed to work with their hands. I'm one of those type of people. I have to be building and fabricating new things in order to 'scratch where it itches'. Office life was a coat that just didn't quite fit.
Circumstances (and a brave and understanding spouse) lead me to being able to change career choices entirely and begin to work with wood every day, all day. I finally had the kind of time it takes to focus and hone my craft. I've still got a very long way to go before I'll be satisfied, but I'm pleased with the direction that I'm headed and with the progress that I've made thus far.
So join me as I explore the world of woodworking, designing and fabricating unique pieces for my clients, for shows, or just following my muse as I build pieces for my own home.