Woodworking is a skill that takes a lot of time, patience, and talent to develop. Even some of the simplest pieces of furniture, like desks or bookcases, can take months to finish. Most of us don”t think twice about how our furniture was made, but for woodworkers, every creation is a labor of love, and a learning experience.
Even though this desk is simple, just think about how long it would take to measure out each piece, cut, assemble, sand, and paint it.
The intricate design on the bottom cabinet of this bookshelf probably took a good amount of time to design and etch, let alone designing and building the rest of the shelf.
Most people wouldn”t even know how to start a woodworking project. I definitely don”t know how to make a coffee table like this one.
Not only is woodworking a difficult craft, it”s also inherently dangerous. When working with powerful saws and sharp tools, one wrong move and you could lose a finger, or even a limb. But the woodworker and artist who created the desk, bookshelf, and coffee table above defies odds every time he works in his home studio.
Clay Gurganus” side business, Blind Guy Woodworking, is self-explanatory. After losing his sight to diabetes in 1984, he began taking classes at the Iowa Department for the Blind. One of these classes was a shop class. It gave him the confidence to adjust to life without vision. In 2010, he purchased a table saw and started his business.
During the day, Gurganus works for the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the financial aid department.
But in the evening and on the weekends, he runs Blind Guy Woodworking. “To heck with the subtly,” he says in regards to the name.
He was terrified when he found out his sight could not be fixed with medical procedures. “I can remember sobbing,” he said.
But after he learned to woodwork, he was able to accept his condition and move on with his life. “You”ve got to face your fears, because fear will cripple you. You”ve got to have an attitude of “I can do this,” or else you”re not going to make it.”
Gurganus” home is filled with his own creations and artwork.
(photos Blind Guy Woodworking; via KCCI)
I think we can all learn something from Clay”s positive attitude and determination. To watch Gurganus” interview with KCCI News and learn more about his story, head here.