Apprenticeship Time

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Blog entry by Brian Brace Fine Furniture Maker posted 08-26-2012 02:37 PM 4885 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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!

Thanks everyone,
Have a great day!!
Brian Brace
Fine Furniture Maker
Black Mountain,NC

-- Brian Brace Fine Furniture Maker,Blk Mt NC

6 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8645 posts in 2899 days

#1 posted 08-26-2012 05:07 PM

Hey Brian,

Need some pauses or breaks in the writing! LOL! Seperating the ideas. sorta like workin with furniture. :-)

Thanks for sharing. How did you get from Vermont to where you are now? Have fun with your son…it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WILL EVER DO. Other than keep him healthy! :-)


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


8645 posts in 2899 days

#2 posted 08-26-2012 05:08 PM

Interesting I can read the blog better in my email?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

#3 posted 08-26-2012 08:21 PM

I know . Everything is wrote out good and as soon as you post it all goes together as one. Maybe I am missing something…..ah guess you have to leave a whole line space or it groups it together.

-- Brian Brace Fine Furniture Maker,Blk Mt NC

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3634 days

#4 posted 08-26-2012 08:28 PM

I wish I had participated in a program like that but I didn’t start woodworking until I was 40.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2544 days

#5 posted 08-26-2012 08:41 PM

You are a shining example of everything I always wanted to be… but am not.

(Try using Firefox to post with, many times it translates the HTML much better than IE or Chrome).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2417 days

#6 posted 08-26-2012 10:34 PM

This was really cool to read. Think of how different our country would be if more kids took opportunities like this, and learned a trade while in high school.

-- Steve

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