Anne is an artist based in Seattle who travels across the United States to teach woodworking, writes regularly for “Furniture and Cabinetmaking” magazine and is currently authoring a book on bootstrap woodworking and farming.
After working in a “soul-crushing job in the tech industry,” she went full time as a woodworker and organic farmer in January 2018 and hasn’t looked back since. With a very significant following across social media and YouTube, Anne – or “Anne of All Trades” as she’s more commonly known – has become a digital educator for a large group of aspiring artists, woodworkers and farmers.
Always with a big smile, Anne’s deep love and passion for animals and her work as a woodworker is easily translated in all of her entertaining and educational videos, as well as her social media posts. Overall she’s a truly inspiring woman who works hard to be a living example of someone who takes risks and challenges the societal norms on a daily basis.
How did you get into working with wood?
My grandfather was a woodworker, and rumor has it that I learned to wield a hammer before I learned to walk. I loved working with him in his shop, but I only got to be there with him once a year for a week or two throughout my childhood and he passed away when I was 12. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and whether it was chopping our winter’s supply of firewood with my dad, starting at age 5, or building tree forts in the forest in Montana using crude tools and cruder supplies, the wooden medium has always captured my interest. I didn’t get my first proper set of tools until about seven years ago when I finally had a garage and a bit of a disposable income to invest. It was love at first sight, and it’s been tough to pry me out of my workshop ever since.
How did you develop the skill base to do the work that you do?
What inspires your creations?
What would you tell your younger self starting out on your artistic journey?
Do you sell your work?
What is your favorite Arbortech Tool and why?
If you were a type of wood what would you be and why?
How do you like to spend your time when you are not working with wood?
Modern Rocking Chair
Anne loves building Windsor-style chairs, and this one is constructed of oak. Windsor chairs require skill and finesse in multiple disciplines of woodwork, which is why they’re one of Anne’s favorite things to build.
“Building chairs, you have the opportunity to see a chair take shape directly from the log of a tree,” says Anne. Building a chair is a physically demanding process, first splitting the material from the log, then riving it closer to shape, then shaping the spindles, arm and crest-rail with draw-knives and spoke-shaves.
Anne says that there’s a lot to be learned in the process. You learn about grain strength, grain direction, and the importance of sharp tools. You learn patience during the repetitive process of fitting the spindles. You learn concentration and focus figuring the drilling angles and spindle placement. You learn to be detail oriented refining the shape of the entire chair, and you learn to get better at turning in an effort to make all the legs and stretchers match. More patience comes with the painting, burnishing and oiling process, and then, you get the incredible feeling of accomplishment every single time you sit in the chair you made with your own two hands.
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