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Destiny’s door

As the grandson of an Italian master furniture maker and instrument builder, the son of a talented furniture maker and the nephew of two other furniture makers, Michael Vascimini's career was never in doubt. Despite his father's advice that he stay away from the family business and repeated recommendations that he become a doctor or a lawyer, Michael knew before he was a teenager that he wanted to build furniture for a living.

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Maybe it was genetic, but the decision appears to have been inevitable. He is a talented furniture maker, restorer and repairer, and owner of Vascimini Woodworking in Homosassa, Fla. And his dad, who lives nearby, did receive his wish - Michael's brother, Frank, is a successful dentist.

The violin maker

Michael's grandfather, Pasquale Vascimini, was born in Italy and began his woodworking career at the age of eight as an apprentice.

"By the age of about 20 he was considered a master craftsman in Italy," says Michael. "And then he came to this country and he had done string instruments - violins, cellos, violas - as opposed to what he really made money on, which were replicas of furniture from the 18th century, such as Louis XV, Queen Anne and the like. Everything was all hand-carved. He was a perfectionist like I am."

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