In one of my several fantasy alternate universes I make furniture for a living. I design and build simple, useful, and beautiful tables, desks, chairs, stools, and shelving. It is probably my perfect job.
I work alone for the most part, without meetings, presentations, and client feedback.
I work with my hands as well as my mind. Design plus craftsmanship.
The customer comes to me with his/her design furniture design problem and build the perfect thing for them. Each piece is extremely well made with quality materials. I take no shortcuts. They are beautiful because they are utilitarian and timeless, not because they have a trendy feature, colour, texture, or shape.
Customers come to me because of what I do and how I do it, not because I won a pitch against three other furniture makers. They do not ask for three designs to deliberate between, because only one design can the best one for them. That’s the one I like to make.
Divorce lawyers charge double when a client has one of my dining tables.
The smell of fresh cut pine, redwood, mahogany, and teak reminds me I’m doing what I absolutely love to do. Sometimes I leave the workshop smelling of carnauba wax or flux. And I listen to music while I work. All the time.
I sleep soundly in the knowledge the furniture I make will be appreciated for years to come because it works perfectly — I designed it to do so.
I am happy.