A Historical Look At The Carpentry Trade
The carpenter works with wood and he builds things like pergolas, decks and frameworks. Carpentry has been with us since the beginning. Think about it Jesus’ dad, Joseph, was a carpenter. The Carpenters were a great pop band, and if I was carpenter would you still marry me? There are references to the importance of carpentry within our culture everywhere. Picture the humble tradie with nails resting between his lips whilst he bangs things together; tool bag hanging from his belt. Houses would not be built without carpenters and wooden structures would fall down without the skills and application of the bloke with the hammer; and I don’t mean Thor. Although, then again, perhaps a tradesman was the inspiration for this Nordic thunder god.
Thinking of Nordic, this is where IKEA came from, and they must employ a hell of a lot of carpenters and cabinet makers to fill all those flatpacks with wooden furniture ready to be assembled. Working with wood is an honourable profession and wood is lovely to have around the home or your business. The feel of the stuff is magic to the touch of your hands. It seems to breathe whereas metal and plastic don’t. Wood speaks to the soul of the human being, I think. When you walk into a home with exposed beams and/or wooden floorboards it is a real pleasure. People relax around timber; and the colour of wood tones and wood stains contribute to that feeling of comfort. Polished wood is elegant and raw timber is somehow tough but vulnerable in its effect in furniture around the home or business.
A carpenter may work primarily in construction assembling frameworks for buildings and homes. Some carpenters may move into the more specialised fields of cabinetry and furniture making, although, with all that IKEA out there a lot of that industry has moved offshore and into the third world. Manufacturing, generally, in Australia has taken a huge hit because of wage disparities between rich nations like Australia and the more underdeveloped parts of the world. Quality furniture and cabinet making is a shrinking art, but really good stuff still commands very high prices. Dining tables and desks, made from beautiful timber, are like pieces of fine art; good looking and functional to boot.
The skills of a good carpenter will always be in demand, as long as humanity’s love for living and working with wood continues. With plantation timber now securing wood stocks, the future looks bright for carpentry.