DENVER – They say a bad day woodworking is better than a good day working, and that philosophy, we presume, is what has kept Tracy Gray going for more than 20 years.
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Gray, the owner of Woodworks Studio in Denver, has taught new generations of woodworkers the ins and outs of this craft for nearly two decades – and not even the coronavirus pandemic has stopped her.
“You come to Woodworks Studio to get away from like, you know? To learn a new skill,” said Gray when Denver7 recently met up with her for this segment of Discover Colorado.
Teaching the craft didn’t come easy for Gray as she’ll tell you, as it required a lot of trial and error to get to where she is now. In fact, it’s not even something she’d ever imagine she’d be doing for a living, as her path to woodworking started just as a hobby.
So how does one interested in woodworking start on their way to creating incredible works of art?
“People usually start with a beginner class – they’re either for people who’ve never done it before, ever, or maybe they did it a long time ago in high school and maybe they want to kind of brush up on their skills,” Gray said.
After that, you’re ready to move up into intermediate classes – which is where the fun really begins.
“In the intermediate classes, you have more free reign in the shop and you’re able to use what you want and it’s basically very student-directed,” she said.
The wonderful thing about woodworking for Gray?
“It’s a hands-on thing,” she says. “I have people bring in things that I would never think of. They give me and all the other instructors here lots of inspiration. … I learn as much from them as they do from me.”
As for the knowledge the students leave with after taking the class?
“It is a great thing when you can walk into a store and you can look at a piece of furniture and say, ‘You know, I think I can do that.’”