Uphill struggles

Sunny every day

I’d love to be able to say that every day as a cabinet maker is all roses and sunshine. That we skip to work, whistling a merry tune, and that the furniture practically makes itself. 

Sad to say, it just ain’t so. Some days are just a complete slog. Everything seems to take longer to do than you imagined and it can be hard to raise a smile.

I don’t know if you’ve read the book Touching the Void, but it’s fair t say those guys had a worse day than you’re ever likely have as a maker. Basically, one of a pair of climbers ends up in a crevasse. A bit broken, crawls his way back up to camp. It takes him weeks. But he succeeds by setting himself a goal every day of where he needs to get to before it got dark. 

It is a remarkable story, a great book, and a very clear message for anyone who struggles to get motivated at the start of the day.

For us as makers, life is often about setting goals. To create new designs, to hit deadlines, even get your VAT in on time (ugh!). To be honest it is a bit of a mantra for us, and we drum it into the students at Rowden… Get your process lists made, set yourself targets and work through your processes, steadily, confidently and with determination. 

It is often harder to achieve your goals when your motivation is a little low, but there is little more satisfactory than hitting difficult deadlines through the simple process of working consistently and working well.

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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