Carpentry is truly an art of its kind, especially when a wooden log that has passed through a carpenter’s hand earns its identity, character or appeal once crafted.
Wood artistry, which requires immense technique and concentration, transforms something out of nothing. Trevor O. Lockhart Senior, proprietor of (T.O.L) ‘Top Of The Line’ Construction is no stranger to this daily regime.
He admits that this profession exhibits his creativity, and exercises his mind, on a daily basis. “Nothing is impossible, and a career in woodworking generally begins with a love for building and an eye for detail,” he explains.
With this overflowing enthusiasm, he shares a few philosophies and perspectives by which he is guided:
Question: When did you know that carpentry was definitely your career path?
Answer: A few years into the construction field. I started as a helper, working with masons and shifting sand, mixing mortar. However, while in the process of learning the art of constructing buildings, I realised that masonry was not challenging enough, and felt that carpentry or working with wood was my passion and passage to express myself.
Q: It is often said that ‘Anything can be Art’. Do you agree with this statement?
A: Yes, I do agree, but it has to be intended by the artist.
Q: What area of craft do you specialise in?
A: I am a builder by profession, and specialise in constructing buildings. My craft is carpentry, which has two main areas: Rough and finish. While I specialise in both, finish carpentry offers art, imagination, enjoyment and satisfaction.
Q: Do you consider yourself a perfectionist. If so, why?
A: Yes, I do consider myself a perfectionist, primarily because I try to offer 100 per cent each time. Also, I appreciate the satisfaction that comes from beautiful work when it’s done right the very first time. Anything less then I feel I’ve wasted my time.
Q: What form of peace, if any, does this career offer?
A: Well, I would say through my career I am offered inner peace from watching my customer’s satisfied faces when they receive the work they paid for.
Q: “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist.” How does this statement affect you?
A: God created everything perfectly beautiful, and was pleased. So this observation gives me the same insight and inspiration. Therefore, I believe there is an absolute collaboration between God and myself (the artist).
Q: Where do you look for motivation and inspiration?
A: I am motivated by the enjoyment of creating beautiful works, and inspired by God the creator to create even more beautiful work.
Q: Do you consider carpentry an art or skill?
A: I consider carpentry both an art and a skill. Rough carpentry, a skill, and finish carpentry, an art.
Q: How important is precision in your design projects?
A: In my design projects or any work, precision is everything. It is very important, because if you’re not precise then the design will not be as intended.
Q: Which do you feel is more important? Good work with bad attitude, or bad attitude and good work?
A: Neither. I feel that nothing good can be achieved with bad in it.
Q: What disappointments you most in this industry?
A: I am disappointed that there are so many imposters. Also, the never ending persons who settle for work that’s unacceptable and substandard in the industry.
Q: If you were asked to pursue another career, what would it be and why?
A: I would perhaps choose architect design, mainly because they are the creators of beautiful designs as well.
Q: Do you believe that people think visually. If so, why?
A: Yes, I do. I myself sometimes think visually in order to create or complete projects. For example, when constructing a building and looking at the drawing plans, mentally I must create an overall picture in my mind.
Q: How important is choosing the right colour and texture for wood coating?
A: I think choosing the correct colour and texture for wood covering is very important because there are many types of wood, all with different character grains and designs.
Q: How do your clients view your work?
A: They love it. Once they’ve experienced my work, they become clients for life.
Q: What advice would you offer persons seeking a career in this industry?
A: My advice to anyone contemplating a career in this industry should first be to understand the benefits that can be achieved.
For example, if you learn the anatomy of carpentry, then pursue the career together with an open mind and a positive working attitude. Then I believe success will no doubt follow.
Until we meet again, fill your life with memories rather than regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game.
• NB: Columnist welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT COLUMNIST: Deidre Bastian is a professionally trained graphic designer/marketing coordinator with qualifications of M.Sc., B.Sc., A.Sc.
She has trained at institutions such as: Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success Training College, College of the Bahamas, Nova Southeastern University, Learning Tree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas.