I started building furniture about 20 years ago. I was mostly taught by my Father and his steady stream of Fine Woodworking, American Woodworker and Popular Woodworking magazines that sat on the table next to his recliner. I remember as a newlywed complaining about how disappointing it was that much of the product available in furniture stores wasn't even real wood. Dad suggested we design and build what I was looking for. I had no idea what I was doing or how we would pull it off, but I had confidence that he did. We built a lot more than I anticipated.
Dad worked a lot. When he wasn't at work at the office he was working on projects at home, at the church or with a friend. He loved productivity and efficiency and getting things done. Playing did not come naturally for him, but if I asked for help or direction on a project, he was there! He taught me that things don't get done without an investment of time, but in the end it's worth it. So I would dream up a project and he would show me what to do to bring it about. We repaired antiques, built entertainment centers, tables, bookshelves, Morris chairs and outdoor adirondack chairs.
(Quarter-sawn oak Morris chair & ottoman built together with my dad)
I grew as a craftsman and developed my own style and methods, maybe even exceeded the skills of my father as a furniture maker. I didn't realize it at the time but in addition to building "real wood furniture" we were building real Heritage. He was passing on skills and confidence and resourcefulness, but most importantly, he was passing on life. It didn't happen without intentionality. It required an investment in good materials, proper tools and physical time, but the end results were something worth saving and something worth passing on.
He was shaping my future, while doing what he loved. It influenced my career, and the way I look at investing in others. The furniture we built are heirlooms. They aren't perfect museum pieces, but they are filled with memories and stories and time spent together that I would never trade. The Heritage we built.....priceless.
If you are in the market for real wood furniture, something solid, something with heritage that is worth hanging on to and worth passing on, The Heritage Craftsman would love to work with you.