I first met Steve Prescott when he was working for a large international telecoms company. He couldn’t wait to leave them, to start life as a furniture maker and join our woodworking courses. When he started his course with us he was always in a hurry, not wanting to be held up by the delivery of hand tools he bought everything ahead of time. This urgency, this focus, gave Steve the ability to produce an inordinate amount of high-quality, challenging pieces of furniture in 50 short weeks. At the start, I wouldn’t say that Steve didn’t know one end of a chisel from another but his skills were fairly basic. What enabled him to achieve so much was sheer hard work, focus and determination. In the first four months he waltzed his way through our projects and modules, including making himself a very fine cabinetmaker’s bench. He then decided to make a chair. We are good at chairs here. Normally I suggest that students make a relatively simple chair, but Steve wanted to make a rocking chair with a stool, both of which would rock.
The second piece, true to form, was to become a terrifically ambitious and successful first cabinet. Made in Birds Eye Maple veneer on solid Maple and Sycamore with contrasting Zebrano carcass sides and doors. This piece was made as a wedding gift, and the names of the lucky recipients is laser engraved onto the cabinet.
Finally Steve made an extending dining table, not a simple extending dining table, but an English pattern extender with a wooden threaded mechanism. This enabled Steve to put a handmade wooden handle on the end frame of the table and wind it out, fitting it with two extending leaves which are stored separately.
Having started a young family Steve now needed to consider what he was doing after the course. He wanted to open his own workshop somewhere just north of Bristol where his partner lived. This was accomplished by good luck. A contact of mine who edits British Woodworking magazine runs a small workshop and was looking for someone to share that workshop and assist with the publication of the magazine. Just so happens that it’s situated just north of Bristol……. and fortune does favour the brave. Now you will see Steve on a regular basis looking goofy in the pages of British Woodworking. Well done Steve.