I received this question in episode 2 of the Ask Brian Boggs Show:
How can I direct myself to the right furniture and style of making for me?
I think that starting out now would be exponentially more difficult than starting out when I did, and that is because the number of venues for getting you started with a good sound base are not as many, and I would hold in mind that whatever path you’re going to take is going to take a phenomenal amount of passion and commitment to this thing, to this style, to whatever it is you pick up, to be able to get through your growth as a craftsman, and if you become a professional, your professional development and the hard knocks that you’ll take along the way. If you’re not feeling a burning passion for it, that’s going to be your guide to try something different.
I think what’s going to be your savior, is listening to what excites you the most. There have been words of wisdom that have been shared to me along my way and one of them that comes to mind right now that hasn’t come to me in a long time, this came from Rudy Osolnik, my landlord in the ’80s in Berea. He was very adamant that you can sell anything, and if you look at the marketplace and the world of stuff out there that is being sold and bought, he’s being proven right over and over again. You can flipping sell anything in this world, so if you are passionate about it, that will be what’s contagious and I think that is going to be more important than finding the thing, because if there’s a thing out there already then it’s probably the wrong one. There’s going to be a new one for you. I think understanding the way things are made and developing your skills and playing around with different things and searching until something really sets you on fire. I would really recommend spending some time with some of the educational institutions like North Bennet Street School, or the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, which are two great places to find inspiration, guidance, and education about how to get going in a career like this. So best of luck to you, I hope you’ll stay in touch.