West Dorset local Caspar grew up near the Academy. He worked on a dairy farm in Dorset’s Bride Valley before joining the Academy to learn new creative skills. After the 12 week course Caspar worked with fellow Boat Building Academy graduate Chris Ward at Wildwood Design building ‘twagons’ – towable wagons in the style of traditional gypsy caravans. Family issues intervened and Caspar had to leave the job, turning his hand to fencing and landscape gardening. A local furniture maker kindly offered Caspar use of his workshop and so alongside Caspar’s day job he worked on commissions for family, friends and their friends. Commissions included an oak bookcase, chopping board wedding gifts, interior work and more.
In November 2016 Caspar moved to London to work as a carpenter on a construction site building nine blocks of luxury flats. When we caught up with him in February 2017 Caspar was working on his sixth bathroom framework installation. Before too long it will be time to start on the architraving, door frames and skirting boards. Caspar says this kind of work is very different to furniture making; while they’re working to reasonable tolerances the precision involved in cabinet making isn’t the priority on a construction site. Problem solving is a big part of the job, working with external influences and conditions – walls, frames, other people’s mistakes – something you don’t always need to consider when working on a self-contained unit of furniture.
Caspar says that the hand skills, attention to detail and theory that he learnt at the Academy has really helped him ‘get his head around’ working in this new environment. He says ‘I’d recommend it to anyone’. He told us that he’s learning a lot, picking up simple tricks, getting faster every time, becoming more confident in his execution and efficiency. Although missing the green of Dorset, for now Caspar sounds very happy gaining new experience and wood working skills as he saves up to support his future plans… returning to Dorset to make his own rentable wagons and cabins.