Looking for a career change …

Make the Leap

A lot of the students that come to study here at the Rowden Atelier are looking to make a change in their lives. Some are looking for a complete career change, others to supplement their existing life with a newfound creative outlet.

Some come for just a week to get a feel for the place (and us), to learn the basics, such as how to make a box or care for their tools. Others opt for the full one year Designer-Maker course. This in itself is a big commitment in just about every way, financially, mentally, personally… I speak from experience here when I say it really is a challenge, a very enjoyable one but a challenge all the same.

I went from a fairly stressful life as a writer. My time, permanently defined by deadlines, was never really my own. I was bored with my life but wasn’t quite sure if I had the balls to change it. That said, I knew furniture making was something I wanted to do – or at the very least try to do.  But when it came down to it, was I prepared to make that leap into the unknown?

As it turned out, the answer to that question was a big fat YES. So, I packed my bags, hitched a caravan onto my car and set off from Durham to Devon.

It was a complete change of everything I knew. I turned up to a new, strange place knowing not a single soul (step 1 out of my comfort zone), and having only ever made a few rudimentary pieces, I slowly but surely started to learn how to make fine furniture. I even went to life drawing classes (step 2 out of my comfort zone)!

As I was leaving home to start the course my best friend said to me, “I have a good feeling about this. I think this is going to change your life.” And it did. One husband, two children and a furniture business later, we are still here and feeling more settled than ever.

So if you are thinking about it, don’t. Just do it.

Best decision I ever made.

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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