“What amends do you need to make for your past creative sins? How can you forgive yourself for the past creative mistakes you’ve made? Two deep questions from my conversation with Gary Rogowski—furniture maker, podcaster, author, and teacher. In this conversation, Gary shares stories that inspire his latest podcast project, Creativity: Hustlers, Fakers, and Thieves. Additionally, we discuss the creative process from different angles: forgiveness and humility. It was an enriching conversation to have and to return to in the editing process. I hope you’ll learn much from it as you continue your creative journey.”
with Host/ Author/ Master Craftsman Gary Rogowski
Discover your own talents for furniture design and construction. Join the Online Mastery Study Program and learn the traditions and the skills of design and fine furniture making. Find your singular path to mastery.
The Mastery Program has been a part of The Northwest Woodworking Studio for over 20 years. We now offer this two year part-time program as an Online course. Our next group starts in Fall of 2022. Enrollment is limited to 15 plus two scholarship students.
June 2022 – Thank you Gary for sharing your knowledge and experiences. The learning of the past 18 months has been very high.
Perhaps the three areas I’ve benefited the most are
– concept to design- visioning skills; modelling; prototypes; the practice of designing and then having to build- all have has resulted in considerable improvement in my ability to design for aesthetics and build-ability.
– tool skill – while I still need practice I think nothing of doing dovetails or mortises- my chisel work and sharpening practices are 100-fold improved- power tool proficiency is way up
– shop techniques – so much better equipped to set up for cuts, glue-ups and other assembly work – so much better at problem solving, thinking the build process through and optimizing steps.
Overall I’m most pleased with the program. It’s worked out well. Perhaps some of the value, more hidden than overt, is that over the period and numerous pieces I’m developing a style and finding my true lane in the shop. My aim for years now has been to make small tables. Now I will do so with the opportunity for more creativity and build excellence.
Again, much thanks for delivering a most enjoyable, challenging and practice learning experience.
In today’s automated world, why bother toiling with hand tools and sawdust? In his new book, Gary Rogowski—a master furniture maker in Portland, Oregon—ruminates about lessons he’s learned “at the bench,” and the quest for mastery and creative focus, no matter what your calling.
Everyone makes mistakes at the bench. It’s how you respond to it that matters. Knowing some simple tricks will improve your outlook towards making quick fixes on your mistakes.
The difference between amateurs and professionals is really quite simple. Professionals know how to swear at themselves with gusto but no acrimony after making a mistake. They swear with precision and brevity because they know how to fix that mistake. It’s easier to just toss off a well aimed cuss word and get to the repair.
Join me on Zoom as I illustrate a grab bag of tricks at the bench. Mis-drilled screw holes, tenons cut too small, split mortises, doors that bind or box lids that bounce off the front edge of a box, these can all be fixed without stress.
Four legged chairs that don’t sit flat on the floor, piece of cake to fix. Tear-out that is too deep to remove, I have the cure. Black spots on a table from an iron skillet, stand aside and let me fix that. Oil finish that won’t dry or dries with tiny crusty bubbles, I have the answers.
Can’t beat the price as all are welcome and there is no class fee. Please register at Paypal so I can get a head count. Bring your questions. I’ll have the answers. I hope.
Online Mastery Program
Please take a moment to listen the current podcast of It’s Wood with Daniel Carter. In it Gary and Daniel discuss the new Online Mastery Program starting this January. Here’s the link to It’s Wood.
And don’t forget to check out the Modern Woodworkers Association podcast. Another discussion with Gary and the fellas about a variety of topics.
A few comments about our Online Lectures and Workshops.
“I just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you for the class this week. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot! Hoping to sign up for another one soon. This morning I threw a Hock blade and breaker in my Bailey #4. Wow, you weren’t kidding about the difference. It’s a whole new tool now.” Zach
” I loved the inlay class, and was amazed how quickly those skills could be learned in the online format.” Colin R.
” I appreciated the “close up” photos that you showed a couple times during the 5 machines episode. I especially like your insights and tips. Keep them up!” John K.
“This was my first virtual Woodworking class and I had my doubts as to how it would work out. I was pleasantly surprised that the class was interesting and useful, well worth the time and 25 bucks. Also, good to have a look inside your shop.” Dale T.
“I wanted to give a personal thank you to Gary and everyone involved in the hand planes webinar. I was learning and smiling the whole way through. Truly an amazing job!” Casey T.
“Thank you Gary for the fine session. I really enjoyed it. I thought the online training via Zoom really went well, like I had a front row seat. I love hand planes and learned some good tips last night. Your use of props was good and like I said, I found it very informative and organized. You know your stuff.” Rick W.
Gary answers a reader and student’s question about taming tear out by changing the angle on a chip breaker. Sometimes you have to also adjust your hand plane to accommodate this modification. Change your plane’s frog position, file a wider mouth opening or file the chip breaker to adjust to the blade better.