As a child in Jamaica, Dushane Noble saw his grandfather make furniture as a hobbyist, and thought that he’d do the same after he retired. But a few conversations with a friend about the futility of living in the future spurred him to pick up some woodworking books and start making furniture. That was 7 years ago, and he’s happy that he didn’t wait until retirement to get into the shop.
Although Dushane makes furniture in his spare time, it’s works that dovetails nicely with his day job as a fashion designer for the clothing company Theory. He specializes in seasonal knitwear and designs anywhere between 60 and 100 pieces per season. Woodworking, he says, is a creative outlet that allows him to focus on things that will last and evolve over time. Furniture is timeless. And he enjoys focusing his energy and intention into the design and engineering of one piece of furniture at a time.
I asked Dushane several questions, and I’ll let his answers speak for themselves.
What are the 3 most important lessons you’ve learned in woodworking?
Patience is your best friend, mistakes are an opportunity to grow, and taking the time to sharpen your tools when they need it saves you lots of time later.
Who has had the greatest impact on your woodworking?
Yann Giguère of Mokuchi Studio. Watching him work, the few chances I’ve had to do so, gave me a whole new understanding of “intension.” I’m also forever grateful that he introduced me to Japanese tools.
Why do you make the specific things that you make?
Through the things I make and design, I’m searching for a certain level of beauty and balance that challenges the senses. Music has a way of moving us, and I’m always trying to see if its possible to move people through form.
Have you incorporated lessons learned in other parts of your life in your woodworking?
While studying in design school a lot of attention was placed on research and the study or different styles, forms and objects. The design and development through intense research, sketching, mock ups and layouts have become a big part of my wood working process so far.
What’s one thing you’d teach another woodworker to help them improve their skills, understanding or design?
It's ok not to get it right the first time. Practice makes perfect.
What’s something everyone should know?
That there is a human behind every piece of clothing we buy. If it’s inexpensive for you, it’s usually at the cost of someone else.
I love furniture design, and smart techniques. This blog is about both.