Through the course of my 24 years I have gone through many iterations of this phrase, none of which were ever the normal kids dream job. When my classmates wanted to be police officers or firefighters I wanted to be an Archeologist so I could discover Dinosaurs. Later, when beginning to prepare for college my classmates were looking at careers in Medicine or teaching, I was looking to move to the coast and be a marine biologist. Finally I committed to an undergraduate program in pragmatic design for my Architecture degree and am very glad I did. Alfred State is focused heavily on technology and practical application so I had the advantage of an education not solely based on theoretical design. I am still not convinced I know 100% what I want to be when I grow up though.
I have been spending a lot of time the past few months visualizing and dreaming of an independent wood shop. I have always loved building things and pretending I know what I am doing with construction techniques. I have worked in multiple construction fields and with a large landscape company and the more I discover about the construction industry the more I realize how little I know. What I do know is that the most enjoyable times I have had working have been related to the physical construction or assembly of projects of my design. This has led me to believe that I should strive to obtain a functional shop space in which I can design, build, and potentially sell custom designed projects. I am not even terribly picky about the type of project to work on. My mother-in-law wants a unique playhouse for her grandchildren, that seems like an appropriate place to begin. I also have some ideas about some contemporary furniture pieces using antiquated methods and raw materials. If I were able to develop this passion into a full time occupation I think that would be all the better, but it all begins with finding an appropriate location for the shop and to begin obtaining the proper tools. I think it would be beneficial and even a bit fun to begin learning and gaining an deeper understanding of the properties of wood by constructing some things using the old craftsman tools of old.
I have been browsing around the internet and found some pretty inspirational stories of people who have begun exactly where I am now and have built quite an empire and a reputation in the wood-working industry. Check out the people and the products over at Daniels Woodland for example. While I think a process on that scale might be a bit excessive, at least it is a group of people doing what they love.
What do you think? Anyone interested in another aspiring craftsman’s unique designs?