A newly commissioned office suite

Most of us have been through the job search “experience” loop at least once in our lives. It’s the old chicken/egg debate where a potential employer tells you that you’re great, but (in that benign and nasal managerial tone) “we’re really looking for someone with more experience.”

And how do you get more experience?

By doing the job. But how do you get the job?

More experience.


The last twelve months of making big pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood have been an invaluable training ground for me, but wholly unprofitable from a monetary standpoint. With previous hobbies I generally sink money into them, sell off the fruit of my labor at cost (with no room for valuing the actual work I put into them) and then put those profits right back into the hobby.

I’ve said this before, but I think of woodworking as something more than a hobby. There is a calling in this for me that I’m still working out, but I can feel in my bones that I want to spend a greater amount of my time in this way, and it would be nice if that effort was remunerated. I have worked hard at building skills and I finally built up the confidence, capacity and courage to take my first commission.

The commission consists of a desk and matching bookcase for an office suite. The designs will be derived from designs presented in The Anarchist’s Design Book with some customization particular to the client (who is a good friend of mine). I will be documenting the process here on The Daily Skep – from finding the right wood to applying the right finish – as a way of encouraging anyone else who is at the same place in the craft.

Now, I’m off to locate some suitable black walnut.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations James! Taking the first commission is a nerve-wracking experience, but your client will be fortunate to own one of your pieces. Looking forward to reading about this build!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kieran! I have to admit that there was a moment when I thought “no, not yet” but then something else inside me asked “if not now, when”?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. James Im so proud of you. I will be watching this build for sure. The people will be getting the best design work and craftmanship.


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