Every woodworker has been inspired by something that steered us into this work.
I have frequently been inspired by something specific, a piece of work by another maker or something I noticed in nature. But the one that stands out was when my family visited the Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
I was ten years old at the time and bored to tears by the long drive. The exotic animals wandering around as we rode the bus to the top of the hill were a nice diversion but not something that I would have thought as adequate compensation.
But once we reached the castle entrance I entered into an hour of awe and amazement. The art works that this monstrosity is constructed round are breathtaking even for a 10-year-old and much of it was woodwork. The library with its sweeping arches and gorgeous bookcases, the massive dining hall with its ornately carved ceiling and long heavy table and seating for an army, the famous Cardinal Richelieu bed. Amazing woodwork was everywhere.
As the son of a writer whose main focus was woodworking, I was already primed to be swept away. But up until that point, I had never been exposed to such high-level artisanship and it made a lasting impression. I can’t say that’s when I decided to become a maker but there is no doubt that the experience was an inspiration.