Those Who Can… Teach
George Bernard Shaw has a lot to answer for. In Man and Superman he coined the phrase, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”.
George Bernard Shaw was an idiot, what does he know!
In fact there are countless examples that demonstrate that, by some margin, the greatest teachers have been masters at what they do. They do so well that they are the perfect guides to instruct and mentor those who don’t know how to do or how to do it well.
Now, cabinetmakers are typically (though not exclusively) humble folk. Working with wood has a way of keeping your feet on the ground. It requires patience, attention to detail and great concentration. Get over confident and things start to go wrong very quickly. You just can’t wing being a fine furniture maker. So we tend not to blow our own trumpet.
At Rowden all our teaching staff have spent time in industry making furniture, either for their own companies or working for some of the best furniture makers in the UK… sometimes both!
The skills they teach the students aren’t simply academic theories on how to make a nice piece of furniture. They are processes that have been practiced, developed and refined over years and years of working at the bench. The result is that the skills taught are also those most likely to create a cabinetmaker who will also excel in industry, working for a workshop or for themselves.
“Those who can, do; those that kill it, teach”.
Until next time,