My name is Jeremiah Dillashaw, and I’m a professional woodworker of more than 20 years, a grateful partner to my favorite person for over 12 years, and father to now 5 amazing little humans.
Almost daily I’m reminded of the obligatory student’s complaint I made to my geometry teacher as a sophomore in high school, “What’s the point? I’m never going to use this stuff.” Forward thinking was a skill I hadn’t yet acquired. Though I took to it naturally, I couldn’t see how this always interesting and often frustratingly complex expression of math applied to my daily life. I eventually discovered I was also mistaken to assume algebra had no utility, but that’s a different story altogether.
Before graduating from high school, I began working in my father’s furniture shop which he had recently started. He there gave me invaluable instruction and experience in both the fundamentals of this craft broadly called woodworking, and not a few advanced sides of it as well.
I remember my daily fascination with every process along the way of making a piece of furniture. I especially enjoyed seeing something go from a collection of annotated drawings(manually drawn at this point), various tables of part lists and optimization sheets, to the finished object produced by our hands. To this day, that same excitement remains undiminished.
Over the next two decades I gained experience in many facets of working wood and building things generally which included:
- trim carpentry
- curved millwork
- CNC programming & operation
- drafting & design
- machine repair & maintenance
All the while I dreamt of self employment to one day have my own custom shop. I’ve worked in both commercial & residential millwork settings, though my heart always seems to favor residential. Frankly millwork generally would be hopelessly boring to me were it not for the volume of parts it’s scope usually contains. I prefer shaping a fair curved surface to a flat plane any day of the week, but I also love a good array of hundreds of parts & fabrication information!
Looking back, it’s probably fair to say I’m one of a surprising few privileged craftsmen who never had to choose between the shop or the office, and look to an unknown environment wishing I was there. Whether concurrently or not, I’ve always been at home in both environments, naively blind to any distinction for many years. This was probably a fortunate advantage to working in smaller shops most of my career. I’m extremely grateful for this quality in my work history as both roles have always informed and strengthened the other.
I’ve benefited greatly from the many amazing artisans I’ve worked with and learned much from over the years. I’m most grateful for the steady patience they exhibited bringing me along in our shared trade—not in the least to belittle the invaluable knowledge they freely imparted to me. A multi-faceted aim of my blog here is to well pay forward the legacy they shared with me. To further embed this craft in our bones, and so learn to bring more beauty to the spaces we inhabit, and to be mindful of the next layer to peel back and discover more.