It has been a few weeks since writing but,that is the way things go during season as a furniture maker. I wanted to get a little more information out on my apprenticeship with the State of Vermont.
I started in the middle of July 1995 ( I was getting ready to be a junior in high school) and we finally worked out me working in the shop. Like I said in the beginning I had to clean most of the time for the first few weeks if not months and then I would slowly get given another job to do and that could be anything from making shop coffee to cleaning a spray gun to hand wiping oil. Everything I did for the first few months was with my hands . I was not on a tool for months. I was there full time in the summer but, was not in the school time so this did slow things up a bit.It really did work out well because as we know some of the things in woodworking can not be done by some young kid even if he thinks he can , and I would have spent a lot more time standing there watching things. This way my boss was able to plan things out for when I would be there so I was busy.
I will never for get that summer . I think about it and remember thinking back in the day all I am doing is helping these guys work faster and I did see how much just in the little bit that I was there how much it help get things done. Also by me being so interested in things I was always the one that would stay late or work on Sunday to make sure things would get done. I could see that the more I was there the more i was learning and when school came around I did not want It to start. I was going into vocational school for carpentry /masonry and in the winters in Vermont are really cold so they did furniture making in the shop for the winters.
I was able to work out with the vocational school because we would spend 1/2 of the day there Monday through Friday,instead of going to vocational I went on Friday to my apprenticeship and got paid also! I worked every day after school and on Saturday. I also worked every vacation while all of my friends were taking it easy I was working harder.But ,It did not feel like work. My senior year was the best .We ended up working out with the State of Vermont that because I only needed one class to graduate ( I worked hard at that) but,needed to take 5 classes to be a full time student I took anything related to furniture making or having a business. I helped teach shop 2 in school and took classes like Drawing and psychology. I figured my be down the road I could figure out my customers minds and get them to by more!!
During all of this there was a lot of things now that I look back at and think wow I was learning at times when I thought I was just working like going to deliver something and learning how to speak with customers or galleries. All of that is priceless now and, I AM JUST STARTING TO GET INTO BEING ABLE TO USE IT. I will fill everyone in a little more about how my hours were logged and the state of Vermont followed all of that later . In the meantime it is time to go with my son!
Have a great day!!
Fine Furniture Maker
-- Brian Brace Fine Furniture Maker,Blk Mt NC http://www.finefurnituremaker.net/