Dremel maker Joseph Gower

Joseph Gower

Meet Joseph Gower. He is a British expat living in the heart of the Netherlands- Amsterdam. He is a Fine Art graduate in the UK and self-made carpenter and furniture maker with an creative eye for art. The most exciting part of renovation work for him is seeing the before and after. And one thing we can learn from him is that no two situations are the same and you can only learn by doing!

The Netherlands
Carpentry and interior design
Visual arts
Favorite tool
Dremel 4250

It’s not so much knowing how to do something right but how to deal with something when it goes wrong. You can only learn by doing.

Joseph Gower
Joseph Gower working with his favourite tool

Joseph has answered a few of our questions:

Having studied Fine Art back in the UK, I found The Netherlands was a perfect country with great support and opportunity to aid me in my profession. That was my entire focus, becoming a visual artist. During this time I was mostly working in private art galleries as a technical assistant or art handler, making sure to keep plenty of time for my own personal artwork and exhibitions. After quite some years working in this field I became disheartened by the 'art bubble'. The elitist feeling within the close knit network and thought, what part of this do I enjoy the most? The making aspect or the life style? I choose the former. I enjoy making things and so I left the art scene to work for myself as a carpenter and furniture maker, still with the intention of making art but not as a means to make income.

My partner and I bought a house together. I had some experience working as a laborer back in the UK and worked alongside a carpenter for a few years so I knew the basics but this was a whole new challenge, an entire house to renovate! I ended up renovating everything. All the electrics, plumbing, interior walls, bathrooms etc. It took over a year to complete and I’m still making new adjustments even today. Following this I began finding clients.

I guess my artwork does still feed back into my building work. I renovate and make furniture occasionally and this can often require a creative eye. I guess my work often blurs between carpenter, interior designer and artist. Whether I'm making artwork or designing a habitable space, there is this sort of gut feeling about when something just 'works'.

I think the most exciting part of renovation work is seeing the before and after. I love seeing the space totally stripped back and then built from the ground up with all new materials. It’s a great feeling when you know you've transformed someone's home into a much more modern space to live in.

There are indeed many challenges in my field of work. Making mistakes, things braking, ordering the wrong materials, having to return to a job after everything is finished and make changes. It’s not so much knowing how to do something right but how to deal with something when it goes wrong. You can only learn by doing. No one can prepare or teach you how to tackle these very specific problems but you will through attempting them develop knowledge and experience which helps with the next time.

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