This interview with Monte Pittman is from the February 2013 issue of our LumberJocks’ eMag.
1. How did you first get started working with wood?
Partially from both parents believing that is you can make it for yourself, then do so. A lot from my mother. She helped build the dairy barn, house, corrals, made all the kitchen cabinets and living room furniture. At 83 she still does wood burned pictures as well as numerous other arts and crafts.
2. What was it about woodworking that initially caught your interest, enticing you to get into it at the level you are now?
Really, when I started I would never have dreamed that I would even attempt many of the things that I am doing now. It comes down to: the further I went the further I wanted to go. Then when I found this site I realized that the sky is the limit.
3. Tell us a bit of history of your journey from that beginning to where you are today
When I started I was happy with a reasonably straight butt joint. I am still not very good at joints, but I am trying much harder. I stare at how seamless many of these folks make theirs and it continues to motivate me to do better.
4. What inspires you regarding wood creations?
The wood, plain and simple. I love seeing the wood and trying to imagine how I can use it so that I can display it’s beauty.
5. What are the greatest challenges that you have met along the way? (and how did you overcome them)
The need to learn vs the time to learn. I probably spend way too much time on LJ’s studying everything. I look at every post to get ideas and to learn. Sometimes learning greatly cuts into sleep time, but I hope that this is what i do full-time in the near future.
6. What is the greatest reward that you have received from woodworking? (personal or tangible)
Probably sounds corny, but my greatest reward has been the people I have met through this site and the information I have learned from them. Irreplaceable.
7. What is your favourite tool that you use for woodworking?
Hard to say. I slab trees, so right now the chainsaw and soon to be bandsaw mill. It’s the first time I get to see what the wood looks like. Christmas in every tree trunk.
8. What is your favourite creation in/for your woodworking?
Very hard to say. At this point I still am thrilled with everything I am able to do.
9. What tips would you give to someone just starting out or currently struggling with woodworking?
I find that virtually all of the mistakes I make are because of a lack of patience and trying to cut corners. You’ll be much happier with the outcome if you take your time to do it right.
10. How did you find LumberJocks and what is it that keeps you coming back?
Found it on an internet search. What keeps me coming back is the shear artistry of the people that are here and how absolutely wonderful most have been to talk to. It’s like being able to have a conversation with Picaso. Even ones that I haven’t talked to has been an inspiration to me. Evweything from Triferns turnings to Jeffros horse. Things I may never try, still inspire me to try different things.
Thank-you to Monte for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview!
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)