Birthday Letter to a Young Woodie

Hi there!

I got a strange request from a lady in California. She had been talking to her grandson about what he wanted to do in life. Apparently he has an idea to be a furniture maker and she has asked me to write something to give him, on his birthday in May, to encourage him. Apparently the young man has not the greatest self confidence. Well here goes.


Your grandma tells me you want to be a wood worker. I hope you are serious because the world really needs great craftsmen and women. People who know about, who feel, quality in their water. People who are prepared to work and learn and go on learning all their lives. These people don’t do it for the money, though that is useful, they do it for the love. Not the love they get, most people they think that we are mad, but the love they give. The pieces they make. I am 60 this year, when I kick the bucket, I leave behind a trail of beautiful pieces of work, not all perfect, but as good as I could do at the time. Don’t expect it to be easy, or quick to learn, or well paid, or safe. Don’t do unless what I am talking about really means something to you. Have a nice birthday.




David Savage



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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