My 40th birthday is looming over me like the “big bad mouse” in my little boy’s favourite book. However, I count myself very lucky in that I had my major mid-life crisis at 26 when I decided a desk job wasn’t for me and dived blindly into the world of furniture making. I did however have a minor mid-life crisis just last week. The puncture in my wheel-barrow occurred whilst doing some landscaping in the back garden. If that’s as bad as it gets, bring on middle age (and a new wheel).
I was sent a book review a few weeks ago; an account of the life of furniture maker in New England which I look forward to reading. To quote the reviewer, “manual labour has recently enjoyed a welcome return to fashion, almost everyone I know - young and old, male and female, rich and poor - would rather be making or baking, sewing or shaping, farming, tending, growing or hoeing than doing whatever they are doing”.
He goes on to discuss the false distinction between working with your hands and working with your brain; “a great deal more brain power is spent in crafting, say, an oak dining table than in the average white-collar job”. Not my words, but having done both I would definitely concur with that opinion. So I feel philosophically vindicated if somewhat financially poorer for my decision.
Whether my fitted wardrobes “express the values, ideas and world view of the person who made them”, i’ll leave to my clients to decide.
An update on the New Red social media campaign; I’m bored of it for now and refuse to tweet “insightful thoughts” on woodwork to my wife and a company that makes Welsh crisps!
However, I’ll continue to upload pictures of recent work like this lovely hand-painted oak dresser made for a Gower client. More images and description of this and other work can be found on our website: www.newredfurniture.co.uk and follow links to our Facebook page. I’d be pleased to discuss any ideas you may have.