|Project by Goldwoman||posted 02-20-2014 06:21 AM||3029 views||29 times favorited||55 comments|
It was this dresser that started it all. The cabinet is Cherry, with cross-sawn White Oak drawer fronts and book-matched White Oak side panels, hand-carved Mahogany pulls, and the top and back are inlaid with a distressed sheet metal. The top ‘floats’ one inch above the cabinet. There is a small locking drawer just under the top to provide support in the center of the 6’ span. The dresser stands 18” off the floor, and is 6’ wide by 20” deep, and stands 48” high.
This is the first piece of furniture I ever designed in 2003, which started my journey as a woodworker. It is my personal dresser. I did not build this piece- I had it built by my friend Charles Weidman in Blanco, Texas. I was completely overwhelmed when he delivered it, and immediately knew that I had do do this work.
I just fell completely in love with wood, and 2 years later I quit my job as the creative director at a large ad agency to allow myself time to focus on furniture design. But as most of you know, I’m sure, woodworking is a labor of love, not money! So I continued to do ad work in order to pay bills and put my daughters through college. The furniture dream took a back seat, and while I occasionally did design pieces for friends and clients, I was having them built by Philip Sell. It wasn’t until I designed a piece for a client’s bedroom set that couldn’t be built as I had designed it (designing solely from a visual standpoint) because I didn’t understand how the joinery worked, and I realized I needed to “go to school” and learn about the medium I was designing in.
So… in November of 2011, I met Jonathan Binzen (then editor of Fine Woodworking Magazine) at a seminar held during the Texas Furniture makers Show. I was able to speak to him after the seminar, and told him of my dream. He suggested the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, CA. Although they required an intermediate skill level on shop tools (I had none!), I plead my case to the head of the furniture department, and was accepted as one of 30 finalists because they were so excited to have a designer in the program. But as fate would have it, the final 23 spots were determined by a completely random drawing, and I was not chosen. Crestfallen, my good friend Eric Holland of Swan Percussion (SwanPercussion.com) offered to teach me to build his beautiful drums, tuition free! It wasn’t furniture but the skill sets are the same.
I worked for Eric a day or two a week for 8 months or so, but was feeling stymied and trapped in advertising. Finally, in November of 2012 I took the leap of faith. I rented my house in Austin, moved to Wimberley to be closer to the shop, and began my apprenticeship in earnest with Phillip Sell. One year later in November of 2013, I showed my first piece at the Texas Furniture Makers Show, my goal for my first year.
I am hooked…
-- "The right path always feels too good to be true. It always feels like so much fun you can't believe it." -Dr. Christine Northrup