First of all thanks for all the inspiration! Your books have opened up an entire culture that I did not know existed. Seeing the way that you and the folks in your books are living lives simply and honestly has given me a whole new perspective on the world.
I also really appreciate how it’s not an idealistic way of going about it either. It’s about making choices of what is beneficial in modern times and what you can really do without.
I was wondering what advice you would have for someone that wants to get into carpentry that has no professorial experience.
I’m 22 years old and I live in Vancouver. I’ve been applying for jobs in that field because it’s a REAL skill that I’m extremely interested in learning. It’s just disheartening because first of all most jobs require experience and second of all its a fast paced industry that is more about money than quality and craftsmanship (I know that’s pretty obvious.
What would your advice be on what route I should take to gain those skills? Do you have any recommendations on natural building internships in the Pacific Northwest?
Thanks again for being an outlet of inspiration!
There are building schools here and there, such as Yestermorow in Vermont, but I don’t really know much about them in general. Years ago my friend Paul Wingate wanted to learn carpentry, so he went around to building sites and asked if he could help, free of charge. He would sweep up, do tasks asked of him, and watch what was going on. Pretty soon he was cutting studs or beams and handing them to the carpenters. Paul would watch what was needed and lend a hand, often unasked. He made himself useful and he started learning the craft. He became an accomplished carpenter.
That’s what I’d suggest. Go around to building sites. Offer to help. Tell them you want to learn. Dig foundation trenches, pull nails, clean the work site every night. Make yourself useful and hopefully the journeymen will start treating you as an apprentice.
PS: I asked Brennan if it was OK to post his letter because it’s not an uncommon question for us, and I thought this might be helpful to young people seeking to learn the art and craft of carpentry.