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Woodworking is a fine hobby for people who are retiring….: The Stigma that is killing our talent

2. August 2018 11:27

By: Luke Barnett, Charimaker: Sam Beauford Woodshop Career Woodworking Institite 

The title of this article may be throwing you off a bit. We are not hobbyists, who spend our weekends making knick knacks for our family members. We are craftsmen and craftswomen who produce products that are comfortable, durable, and beautiful. We use our skill to the highest degree, while producing items that add value at an affordable cost.

Unfortunately the title of this blog is how our industry is viewed by 99% of the population. This is unacceptable. It is hurting our brand and it ruining the next generation of skilled woodworkers. When you say the word woodworking to someone, you will most likely get a response of “My grandpa was a woodworker, he used to have a really nice shop in his basement.” While I encourage everyone to be involved with woodworking, I must stress that this is not the kind of woodworking that I am referring to. I am talking about the type of woodworking that can give somebody a sustainable living. The type of woodworking that can provide a family with a house, food, music lessons, doctors appointments. Etc….

Our industry needs to change the way people view woodworking or all our future talent will go to other trades and/or college. Because of the hobbyist stigma, parents do not want their kids to pursue a career in woodworking. Our trade is the most ancient, it is prestigious, and it is lucrative. We just need to convince the parents of the next Orville Merrilat before they steer that kid in a different direction…….



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