Woodworking: The Art and The Job of Famous Woodworkers

Woodworking, the art of crafting wood has never lost its way into the trend, say, in our modern age today or the world back in 3000 B.C. Indeed, you’ll see every type of woodworking in all directions. Take a few steps around your home, and you’ll see a variety of wood transformations throughout your neighborhood.

The creation of wooden projects, with the aid of skills and tools, and nowadays, often with the assistance of a good pair of polyurethane coated gloves, are produced whatever a crafty mind can imagine. The ways are limitless whether you build a simplistic birdhouse as a novice, unique household furniture, or beautiful cabinetries of all description to meet home and workplace demands.

In this article, we’ll talk about various aspects of this ancient art, focus on some essential facts, and introduce with some of the famous woodworkers of our time and from the past. Stay along.

What Is Woodworking?

The word woodworking may refer to multiple terms of crafting wooden projects. It’s defined commonly as a productive craft involving cutting, carving, and joining pieces of wood for creating both decorative and useful wooden applications.

There are nothing notable physical demands about woodworking, and it can be done at one’s preferred pace. It has some simple easy-to-comprehend basic concepts. The evergreen hobby is ever so fresh yet challenging as your craftsmanship evolves. Those with a knack for problem-solving will certainly love woodworking. Having been in the field for over thirty years, I can honestly admit how I face new challenges with every new project. It is a part of the whole process.

Comparing Woodworking to Carpentry

While both carpenters and woodworkers make wooden things, and both their job requires the same type of skills, they are a different type of professional from each other. They both have quite different day-to-day activities. A woodworker deals solely with wood and/or wood composites focusing on shaping wood shaping for product creation. A carpenter, on the other hand, deals with a wide range of materials, requiring skills for working on every aspect of building construction or repair. Say, when on a construction project, making the cabinets would be up to the woodworker, where the carpenter’s job would be installing them. Let’s dive in a bit deeper.

Woodworker

A typical woodworker works in a factory or a workshop. They work on making products furniture, cabinetries, or home/office components like shelving or paneling. While a few woodworking projects are custom-made and require the woodworker to make them by hands, most of them are mass-produced with automated, specialized machinery.

Their work includes setting up automated machines, reading shop schematics, drawings, and blueprints. They cut, shape and assemble the machined parts with adhesives and fasteners and hardware installments.

Carpenter

Carpenters usually work at construction sites. They install building parts or other bigger structures. In private offices or homes, their work involves a wide range of tasks and materials. A carpenter is expected to master the process of sizing and installing multiple building fixtures, additions, and materials, ensuring they’re square and level. The rough carpenters work on larger construction sites for office towers, bridges, and similar large projects where they’re expected to make cement foundation-friendly wood forms for pillars and footings.

They calculate the required amount of materials, follow the building blueprints, install frameworks, structures, and fixtures like windows, doors, and walls. They work on interior and exterior trimming, flooring, siding, and insulation.

Different Types of Woodworking

A professional woodworker enjoys working a wide variety of woodworking projects. If you’re not familiar with them all, let me name a few. A woodworker works on projects like

  • Woodcarving
  • Woodturning
  • Pyrography (Woodburning)
  • Scroll Sawing
  • Marquetry
  • Intarsia (Wood Mosaics)

and such. They also work on construction-related works such as furniture crafting, decorative box making, and several repair and restoration jobs.

Famous Woodworkers

In terms of using wooden materials and products in our everyday life, woodworking has expanded the horizon. The famous woodworkers’ history takes us back to ancient times where woodworking first gained the attribute “Art” for their enormous crafty woodworks.

The Scandinavian countries hail a notable portion of famous woodworker both from past and present. This is presumably because of the regions having numerous supply of various types of wood and practice of woodworks for centuries. Over the years, American woodworkers have taken the field of woodworking by storm and gained popularity worldwide.

Here, I’ll present you with a list of famous woodworkers of our time and the past. The list includes famous American woodworkers and their counterparts from the rest of the world.

Top 10 Woodworkers in the World

  • Sam Maloof
  • George Hepplewhite
  • Tage Frid
  • James Krenov
  • The Stickley Brothers
  • Thomas Sheraton
  • Ole Kirk Christiansen
  • Charles Mackintosh
  • Greg Mitchel
  • C.C. Boyce

Sam Maloof (January 24, 1916 – May 21, 2009)

Sam-Maloof

The most celebrated furniture craftsman in the United States, Sam Maloof is also among the most famous woodworkers in the world. The modern-day chair is the most acclaimed piece of his woodworks. The favorite American woodworker had heavyweight names among his customers, including the likes of American presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

George Hepplewhite (1727 – 21 June 1786)

george-hepplewhite

This famous English woodworker from the eighteenth-century was also a professional cabinet maker. Inheriting the skills from his ancestors, Hepplewhite was also among the big three Englishman in the field of woodworking of his century. Most of his designs had one common characteristic, the shield shape chair back. Also, a generous amount of shield appeared in his designs in place of the narrow splat design.

Tage Frid (30 May 1915 – 4 May 2004)

Tage-Frid

The Danish-born woodworker is regarded as one of the most composed woodworkers of the twentieth century. Best known for the three-legged stool concept, Frid had a great influence on the development of studio furniture movement in America.

James Krenov (October 31, 1920 – September 9, 2009)

James-Krenov

James was primarily a studio furniture producer. The trendy designs of the Krenov Cabinets manipulate several of the modern cabinet models of our time. He is known for perfecting TageFrid’s inventions.

The Stickley Brothers: Gustav Stickley (March 9, 1858 – April 21, 1942)

The-Stickley-Brothers

Gustave Stickley along with his brothers Charles and Leopold had masterminded many of the mass-produced famous wooden designs. The brothers had dominated the arts and crafts movement in America in the early twentieth century.

Thomas Sheraton (1751 – 22 October 1806)

Thomas-Sheraton

Sheraton is known for his feminine touch in his designs which he had introduced in place of the Georgian styles. He made his way into the English Big Three in the eighteenth century. The English style in furniture making took a new definition through his work, which is proudly felt even after two hundred years.

Ole Kirk Christiansen (7 April 1891 – 11 March 1958)

Ole-Kirk-Christiansen

The Danish woodworker, who was also a carpenter, became a famous wooden toymaker. He focused more on toys rather than traditional furniture, which encouraged him to establish the famous construction toy company- The Lego.

Charles Mackintosh (7 June 1868 – 10 December 1928)

Charles-Mackintosh

Mackintosh was a Scotsman famous for representing the Art Nouveau in the UK. Being a designer of the post-impressionists movement in Europe, Charles redefined English woodworking in several aspects. He was also an architect, designer, and artist.

Greg Mitchel

Greg-Mitchel

One of the most talented woodworkers of our time, Greg has gained vast popularity for his modern-day wooden projects. He developed the hobby as a teenager apprenticing under a professional Finish woodworker to become a professional himself. He made his way up to his fame through his first job, which was restoring historic homes.

C.C. Boyce

C.C.-Boyce

Boyce had developed her hobby of woodworking under the supervision of her father, who owned a woodshop. She left the world of voice-over for woodworking a few years ago and chose the full-time profession as a woodworker. The girl who loves problem-solving has produced lots of eye-catching furniture designs with exceptional skills.

Career in Woodworking

If you happen to enjoy the field of woodworking in the world of technology, love cutting, carving, shaping and crafting wood pieces or you simply like the idea of enjoying the smell of sawdust every day, you’ll love the job of woodworking. Remember, the job is about both fun and challenge. And before making up your mind, it’s useful to choose the type of woodworking you’ll take up as a career.

How Do I Become A Woodworker?

Primarily, there are two ways of getting into a woodworking career. Through an admission in a CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) course, or through an apprenticeship.

Almost every local college offers a course in CITB. The joinery processes and types may vary from college to college.

Understanding the career through an apprenticeship is also a great way, and it’s practically a fun way to learn. You will get paid as well while gathering experience in a real workplace. And the opportunity of attending college on a part-time basis is always there. After the completion of the apprenticeship, there would be an opportunity for the employer to give you a full-time job. However, this isn’t guaranteed.

Both the options are worth looking. It’s up to you which one you’ll choose. But before that, you need to know the different types of woodworking job and determine which one to focus on.

How Much Do Woodworkers Make?

In the United States, a woodworker makes around $28,347 on average. Their wage level starts typically from $21,840 and goes up to $58,874.

The Chart Below Shows The Average Earnings of Woodworkers by their Seniority.

LevelsEarnings per hourEarnings per year
Top-level$28.31$58,874
Senior-level$18.57$38,640
Mid-level$13.64$28,347
Amateur-level$11.40$23,698
Beginner-level$10.55$21,844

This is only a statistical visualization of their earnings and not the guaranteed wage range. With potential, skills, and hard work, a woodworker can earn even more.

Your Turn

We’ve come to the end of our discussion. I hope you’ve liked this overview of different aspects of woodworking while getting to know about the famous woodworkers and their work. Happy woodworking!

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