Humility, with a bit of showmanship thrown in for good luck

Humility, with a bit of showmanship thrown in for good luck

It still amazes me that you can learn so much in a year. While students might not leave Rowden as the fastest cabinetmakers in the world, they do leave with a genuinely high level of skills and expertise. This knowledge would take many years to achieve any other way, whether through university, apprenticeships, or just beavering away in a workshop. I cannot think of another art or craft that can be mastered so quickly, certainly not the piano, or oil painting, not sculpting or singing.

Modest to the end

The result is that the student leaves with the ability to make truly stunning pieces of furniture pretty much right out of the box. Sometimes this means that the only person who doesn’t recognise their skills is themselves. We leave still modest, humbled by the strict discipline of learning fine craftsmanship.

The upshot is that the new craftsman, the freshly trained professional cabinetmaker, is likely to display a great modesty when they talk about their work. And that is mostly the right way to be. If there is to be any showmanship, let it be the furniture that gets the glory rather than the maker.

Until next time,



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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