Well to pass along skills would be a great start, but unfortunately there’s just not enough happening in the furniture industry around Perth, or Australia in general for that matter, to enable that to happen.
When some people see my work, they don’t really understand it or me. I think they see it as some sort of hobby, certainly not a serious job. Terms like "old school" encourage this! After all furniture is made in factories, by mutilple people in a short time frame, isn't it? I also understand that many young people are offered two year apprenticeships, plus a beautiful certificate at the end, with the promise that it will allow them to find work anywhere in the world? Oh really? Obviously these people live in a very different world to me.
I call them "opinion" diplomas, these are very misleading for the younger generation. As for them allowing them to get a job anywhere in the world once they have one, well I very much doubt that. Back in early 18 and 19 century France, the Parisian Guild required you to spend a minimum of six years to finish an apprenticeship, followed by another three years to prove your mastery! If you are learning to create furniture using the same techniques as used back then, then the time frame would still be the same in my opinion. No one becomes a master craftsman overnight!
In 2013, over 80 million people visited France. Besides the gourmet food and scenery, they went to see the beautiful buildings, palaces and museums, many of which have some of the best furniture ever created on display!
Below is a bespoke Louis IX style chair and stool that I created.
Australia can’t keep calling it "old school" or claiming we have moved on, whilst other countries still possess brilliant productive furniture craftsman, who they are proud of. I keep in touch with some of them, and fortunately their work is showcased on Instagram and Facebook. The amount of admirers and followers they have, shows that using the term "old school", to describe their style of work is completely inappropriate and inaccurate.
Below are example of some of the pieces I have handcrafted, that will last for generations to come.
I say what will our contribution be to Australia? What will we leaving behind to inspire future generations? In my book it is very important to leave behind a LEGACY!