“Come and train as a Chartered Accountant, it will open doors for you” they would say, “and we'll give you £2,000 to help clear your student debts”, well that was me sold, I could clear some debts and have a nice holiday too!
After enduring 3 years of tedium and mental torture, they'd nearly broken my spirit (but not quite), many doors did indeed open for me, unfortunately all were to banks and finance departments.
It was in hindsight, a rather drastic reaction to give it all up and become a woodworker, I concede the salary of a “fat cat” executive would make life easier, but i'm not sure I would sleep well at night and maybe fate always intended for me to become an impoverished artisan.
Where am I going with this? A tenuous link I know but I was reflecting last week on how the doors I'm now opening are of the solid oak variety, whilst those to the city banks are very likely to be closed by now.
Doors generally fall into the category of joinery rather than cabinetmaking, but essentially the techniques are the same. I don't tend to do them often, as joinery workshops are set up to make doors, windows etc on a commercial scale and produce them more competitively than I can.
Although, if it's something a little different and the sums stack up i'd be happy to consider it..
I recently built an oversized oak door at a local house. I declare a personal interest in this one as it is ours and is something I've been wanting to do for a while. The house was once a local dairy and a passageway ran from the street to the milking sheds at the rear. This meant that a standard door was not an option and making something bespoke was the only way to go. The “before” image shows the brown “timber effect” PVC door that has served the purpose but has not done the house any favours in my opinion.
My intention was to make something contemporary yet sympathetic to the history of the building hence incorporating a traditional planked door references its agricultural past and the sandblasted glazing panels and brushed steel hardware creates a more modern architectural feel.
Functionally it works well and being double skinned and insulated is very energy efficient.
For me I think it works aesthetically, but taste is a highly individual thing and like a new pair of shoes, it's taking a little while to get used to......