STL277: When good enough is good enough
Amanda Russell joins Barry and Ben to discuss what it's like to apprentice for one of the greats, when to turn off the need for perfection, and what the future holds.
This episode is sponsored by Titebond
Amanda Russell grew up in El Paso, Texas, where she was raised by both her father and grandfather, who had garage shops. They instilled in her a love of creativity and a desire to work with her hands. In 2016, she began Austin Community College’s woodworking certificate. After finishing, she started a four-year apprenticeship under her former teacher Philip Morley. She is now an independent furniture maker and woodworking instructor. As someone who’s heavily influenced by her own identity and mental health, Amanda hopes to create safe spaces that support both the woodworker and their woodwork.
Question from Robin:
I just started work in a production furniture shop, fulfilling my desire to turn my hobby into a job. I’m loving it, but at work, time and money rule (after safety, of course). Quality is important, but the tools, techniques, and sense of “good enough” is very different from what I’m used to, and from most of the custom work in your magazine.
I know that all of your guests and contributors make high quality work, and I know that some of them have also worked in production shops or for themselves in a commercial enterprise. I’d love to hear more perspectives on how they have balanced quality with efficiency in their own lives (hello, Nancy Hiller, Mike Pekovich).
Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to [email protected] for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.