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JOEL Joel's Blog

Jameel Abraham - When I Grow Up

06/10/2010 Part 4 of a Series

Jameel Abraham - When I Grow Up 4I sent the following questions to some of the movers and shakers in the woodworking industry:

1 - When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you remember what attracted you to your goals?
2 - How did your goals as a kid translate - if they did - into what you are doing professionally now?

I think the answers I got were really instructive and maybe helpful for those we know who are pursuing a dream. Let's let the people speak for themselves. Here is the note I got from Jameel Abraham, maker of the most incredible ouds and also the owner of where he makes and sells magnetic tool holders and workbench accessories. The previous entry in this series is by Asa Christiana.

Jameel Abraham -
I'll always consider myself a student of woodworking technique. There is always room to improve, refine and take work to a higher level. I try to apply this to all aspects of life. For me the Golden Rule is very important. I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. At one point, I wanted to be a concert violinist (I even promised my mom a red Porsche 911 when I became famous) but that fell through when I quit playing in high school. After that I wanted to be a professional tournament angler. But that too fell through after I realized I always got outfished by my dad. I never had an interest in woodworking early on, although both my grandfathers were serious hobbyists. Shortly after dropping out of college I visited a monastery that specialized in Byzantine mural iconography. I was hooked. I studied for several months and went off on my own. About the same time I developed an intense interest in fine woodworking. I read everything available at the library (this was before the Internet) and developed skills by practicing for many hours in the shop. I now split my time between painting and woodworking. The two things that drew me to woodworking as a young adult (and still draw me today) were the beauty of wood, and the thrill of being able to craft a piece of furniture that I could never buy in a store. I don't think there are too many kids who have definite goals in mind and are aware of it at the same time. I didn't. What I did have was an intense interest in whatever it was I was pursuing at the time (music, art, fishing!) and I think this aspect, combined with the practical aspects of woodworking drove me to my long term interest in building things.
Join the conversation
06/10/2010 TheApprenticeandTheJourneyman
This is a great article! It truly gives insight into the workings of Jameel. This story is about a student who is continually on the search for knowledge and to improve. Obviously, he has a real curiosity about many different things. And, apparently there are some things that he is quite passionate about.
I could be wrong on this but it strikes me that Jameel was intensely interested in the moment at hand with things that he was drawn to rather than setting long term goals. ....Fascinating read! Thanks
06/11/2010 Harlan Barnhart
Thanks Joel (and respondents)for putting together this series of interviews. This is among the best blog content out there. Keep it up.
Harlan Barnhart
(waiting for the next installment)
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.