As I have ventured into this life after 20 years in the Corporate World I have found myself drawn in a certain direction. The more I work with wood the more my creative juices flow. I initially started with the idea of making small handcrafted items that would be popular at a Christmas Bazaar or a Charity Auction. Much of this hasn’t kept my interest. Turning has been fun and that is something I will continue to do. But, still, I have all these ideas in my head for furniture I would love to build, chairs, tables and such. I can design them in Sketch up with ease, but when it comes down to building my design, I simple don’t have the skills & knowledge.
Having no formal woodworking training I often find that I am completely out of my depth. While many guys were taking Shop Classes in Jr High & High School, I was taking computer and business courses. I am glad I did as that knowledge has served me very well over the years. So I have set out to learn woodworking from a knowledge point of zero. I have learned a ton over the past few years from sites like this and several books. But in the end there is nothing like formal education.
I first looked at taking a few week long courses at my local Woodcraft Store. Great stuff available, for $1200 a week! I signed up for a few and was planning to take them this summer. But then I remembered Seattle Central Community College a Wooden Boat Building program & some other classes. I looked it up and found they had a complete degree in Cabinet Making and Fine Woodworking!
This past Wednesday I went in for a tour. I was in for a real treat. Not only do they have an amazing program, they are moving into a brand new custom built building this summer! The program itself is 5 quarters or core classes. Longer if I want to get an AA, which I probably will. Class is Mon-Thurs 8-4 so there is a ton of instruction time. But it is also somewhat self paced which is an absolute necessity because of my bad hips, leg, and back.
So I got all signed up to start next fall. Being on disability I have the time to attend classes. Because of the curriculum, I can go to school without breaking my physical restrictions. I am extremely excited to say the least! There are 4-5 main projects that everyone must complete. From what they said most folks finish a quarter or two early and have the remaining time to work on independent projects & learn skills they desire. I got to see quite a few of the projects past students have done. They were all really well done.
So there we go. I finally decided what to do when I grow up! I am going to make find customer furniture, some day…...
-- Chris, Washington The State! http://www.chris-crafts.com