David DeCristoforo possesses an extensive resume as designer/maker of fine furniture, high-end cabinetry and architectural woodwork. His experience in professional woodworking spans a period of 35 years. For the past 20 years David DeCristoforo Design has been located in Woodland, California. During this time David's shop has ranged in scope from a "full on" cabinet production shop with as many as 15 employees to a small fine furniture and custom millwork shop, working with his son, David RBJ, a highly skilled maker in his own right.
I spent the entire month of December moving my shop. It’s not the first time I have done this (but I do hope it’s the last!) so I was not completely blindsided by how much work it involved. But, somehow, this move was much more stressful than the last few.
We are hearing a lot about how well the economy is doing these days. Unemployment figures are looking good. And that’s supposed to be one of the indicators of a healthy economy. But at the same time there is an undeniably widening discrepancy in the ratio of people making billions and people barely scraping by.
With all of the concern about our changing climate, we are finding ourselves needing to consider our own impact on our environment. Let’s forget, for the moment, the argument about the cause of climate change. The fact is that the climate is changing and it’s doing so at a much greater rate than was previously believed.
There have been numerous times throughout my woodworking career when people have asked me how I do this or that. Sometimes it’s just curiosity. Sometimes it’s some who wants to do it themselves and is in need of guidance. And, sometimes it’s a competitor who has underbid a job he doesn’t really know how to do.
In our business we are often asked to do things a bit differently than we’re used to. People want to individualize their projects. They don’t want to pay premium prices for something that looks just like what they could have bought at the local furniture store.
Everyone in business has an image in their mind of what their dream employee would be. There is a tendency, when interviewing potential employees to look indications that fit that image. This can lead to a distorted, idealized view of the person being considered, leading us to see things that might not really be there.
In our business, we are often called upon to work outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes it’s in the form of needing to create a unique design that does not fit within the parameters of our typical production format. These projects may require us to master a new technique or a tool we have never used before.
Woodworking is high on the list of industries that are experiencing a shortage of skilled employees. With unemployment rates at the lowest level in decades and wages at their highest, the lack of skilled people is becoming more and more obvious.