Yes, but why cabinetmaking?


I’m going to say this right off the bat, I cannot explain in a single post why you, or anyone, would want to become a cabinetmaker. There are probably as many reasons as there are makers! But over the next few months, I think this might be a subject we will come back to and attack from a few different angles. Today I’ll let you know why I decided to be a cabinetmaker. And next month I might see if Jonathan can explain what lead him to the world of wood.

Before training at Rowden I had a career as a writer, based in London. Writing was my full time job. As a freelance design writer , I wrote for for various magazines and was also the author of five design books. As exciting as that might sound, it was exhausting with tough deadlines, and ultimately not as satisfying as it had been when I started. 

I had no idea how  things would end up, but I decided to leave London for a beautiful village just outside Leeds. The change of pace was profound, and it gave me a chance to try some other things out. 

Learning to make

I began doing an evening course in woodwork and made a nifty little stool (which still proudly sits  in our living room). The process of making was fundamentally different to writing. There was a calm pace to it, it was totally immersive, it was tactile, and the result was something real, functional and quite delightful! 

Having fallen out of love with writing as a full time career, I had started to fall in love with working with wood. Now anyone who knows me knows I’m not afraid of making big decisions. So, having found something I enjoyed I just thought “in for a penny, in for a pound” and signed up to the one year course at Rowden.

So there you go…  for me, cabinetmaking represented to me a complete change of pace. It provided me with the opportunity to work in a completely different way, to immerse myself and to enjoy the absolute pleasure of creating something using natural materials. Simple!

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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