The challenges of carving out my career in wood
I'm Will and I'm a trained craft carpenter working in the Derwent Valley.
Wherever possible I use reclaimed and local wood - I've even been known to recycle Christmas trees into useful things! In the early days of my business I approached a local fencing company for their unwanted timber. I made a few things from the wood and started to get interest from friends and locals. My business grew from there and I now work in a custom workshop producing a range of off-the-shelf and bespoke items.
I spent my childhood watching my father creating all sorts of items around our home. He was a welder, trained at Consett Iron Company, and could create in almost any material he was given. From school through to University I gravitated towards manufacture, studying Design and Technology at the University of Sunderland.
After leaving University I spent four years in industrial style workshops creating and testing lots of different products, implementing policy and improving on existing production methods.
I'd always found the more formal, office-based work challenging and in 2015, after 10 years of seeking support, I was diagnosed with autism. Rather than looking at the negative side of being on the autistic spectum I looked to the positive and decided to focus on what was my true passion: wood craft and carpentry. It's the perfect outlet for my love of a challenge, my logical approach and eye for detail.
Working from a spare room in my house I took on small commissions and slowly built up my portfolio and expanded my tools and equipment. I am now working from a custom workshop in Chopwell Community Centre which means I've been able to take on a wider range of projects.
To support the 3Rs (Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse) I try to source timber that would either be scrapped or burnt and I reinvigorate these old materials into something new. I've made chopping boards from old kitchen worktops and doors, and I've upcycled unloved tables into
something to be cherished.