|Forum topic by ben||posted 2200 days ago||5734 views||1 time favorited||22 replies|
2200 days ago
I suppose that now is as good a time as any to think out loud… twiddling my thumbs waiting for a some friends to show up on a friday night. So I’ll start off by saying, “Please bear with me. I’m a talker.”
Since getting my fingers (just barely) dirty and back into this interesting hobby, I’ve found myself wondering repeatedly about the “turn your hobby into a career” idea.
In a year and a half my wife will be finished with residency, and I will have a bit of freedom… meaning I can stop worry about being the sole source of income for a the first time in a while. Along this line of thought, I wonder what’s better: the school of hard knocks, or the school of furniture and craftsmanship?
Has anybody here gone through one of the substantial woodworking schools, a la College of the Redwoods, Northwest Woodworking School, any of the many high quality community college programs, etc.? Or have any people done a substantial apprenticeship? What do these give you that you are likely to miss (or overpay in time) to get by learning on your own?
I would love to hear the details of what you walked in expecting, and what you walked out knowing. If I went down this kind of path, why would make this kind of excursion worthwhile? Would I be better off just spending the time and money building my own things for a year to build up a “gallery”?
I welcome all thoughts, reflections, inspirations, and even down-to-earth, cynical observations… :-)
(Meandering stream of thought is now done…)
<< EDIT >>
After seeing a couple responses, I realize I left out a few useful details about my own situation. First off, I’m closer to novice than experienced, but not totally ign’ant. I took a 1 week ‘basics’ course with Jeff Lohr, and loved every minute of it—even the review of things I knew, or thought I knew. I am a software engineer, and think like an engineer… My childhood fostered a musical ear, but not an artful eye, and frankly would hope to develop that more than I worry about developing technique.
Overall, my “ideal” for going to such a school would be the mentorship and the peer environment that I simply can’t get from self-driven learning.