Brian Gladwell - How He Became a Furniture Artist
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Actually I had no idea what I wanted to do, so after university, I hung around for a while and I got a job on a ranch in Fort Qu’Appelle. And this rancher was just living his dream - he was doing exactly what he wanted to be doing in life and it was a real inspiration to me. I never really thought of what you’d do living your dream. I always imagined it was some sort of obligation: you found a career and you went to work. Ranching wasn’t my dream but it gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do. I was clear of three things. One, I wanted to do creative work. I have always loved building things, making things, thinking things up…doing that kind of stuff. The others…I wanted to be self-employed, and I didn’t want to go back to school. So this was the time in the ‘70s when antiques were just becoming really popular. People were cleaning out the basement, the attic, the barn and getting all that nice old furniture back into their lives. So I just started out repairing and refinishing furniture as a way of getting into making furniture. I decided that making furniture would fill those criteria for me. When I think of myself as an artist now, to a great extent it’s just I like making things. It happens that I am making art now, but I just want to make things.

You know when I went into furniture-making, I thought I was reviving a lost art. I was out in the country, I was very isolated, I knew little about what else was going on in the field. Since then I learned that there was a whole fertile field of…studio furniture is what we call it…going across North America, that I could actually go do an MFA in studio furniture at half a dozen different institutions in the States. So then I began to get more aware of what was happening elsewhere and more excited about what I was doing and how it fit into a larger path.

Duration: 2:23 min
Size: 10065kb

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