Maker Month - Ellen


 

What is your profession?

I’m a full-time woodworker. My main focus is furniture: one of a kind or limited series kind of runs, and sculptural furniture. In addition, I renovate our house and carry out small renovation jobs or redesigns for clients. I’m also a commercial woodworker, working on cabinetry, custom tables, and so on. Power carving is my niche.

 

Where did you go to school?

I went to Marshall University. I have a Bachelor's in fine arts with an emphasis in sculpture. That’s where everything started for me.

 

What advice do you have for those who may be considering pursuing skilled trades?

There's no better reward than working with your hands. I would say, find your strengths and fine-tune them. Then start working on your weaknesses and make them into your strengths, so that you’re skilled in a broader spectrum of things. Focus on being the best at what you can already do, but also learn to do more and be the best at that also.

“Focus on being the best at what you can already do, but also learn to do more and be the best at that also.”

What’s your biggest career accomplishment to date?

Other than surviving 2020... I was on the cover of Wood Craft Catalog power carving this past spring. So that was really cool – a woman power carver on a catalog cover. But honestly, I'd have to say that my biggest accomplishment is working, creating, and making through all life’s twists and turns, through graduating art school and starting my studio with the bare minimum to working through motherhood, around newborn naps and toddler tantrums, or with a baby on my back.

 

What’s one misperception that people have about your job?

That it’s man's work. Yes, I'm a woman, and yes, I'm a woodworker, and I've been doing this for over a decade. I’m just as skilled, and talented, despite the fact that I’m a woman. Actually, probably more so because I'm a woman. I know so many talented women that are makers and woodworkers and women in the trades. I think we’re just walking truth that anybody can do this. Anybody can succeed. Walk away from the naysayers because we’re doing it, already! So, join us.

“I know so many talented women that are makers and woodworkers and women in the trades. I think we’re just walking truth that anybody can do this.”

What are your future aspirations?

To keep going and keep making and thriving as much as I can. To expand my shop would be a dream. To have a space where I could safely teach and inspire and continue to grow, not only as a business, but as a maker. And to learn more every day, something new.

I would also LOVE to have a space where I could work with people, especially younger girls that I want to inspire and tell them ‘YOU CAN DO THIS!’

 

Why are you #MakerProud?

I’m #MakerProud because I’m a strong woman, and a wife, and a mother, and a maker... I started my business to keep making but also to provide for my family. But I think what makes me most proud is being able to share my journey through social media. There are ups and downs and I think sharing that on any platform, especially a public platform, allows other people to know that it’s not easy. I post on Instagram when I do really well and have a catalog cover, but I'm also going to share when I can’t bring myself to work because I'm so tired and stressed. I’m proud to share all of my truth, all of my story – the good and the bad.