Women Woodworkers and Gender Stereotypes

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Interview-with-4-Woodworking-Women
Image used with permission of Sawinery

Woodworking isn’t something that can easily be thought of as a job, craft, or even a hobby women would naturally gravitate towards. Part of it is the common notion that woodworking and carpentry are for men, and true enough, males have traditionally dominated this area. Thankfully, in the recent centuries, women have taken more active and critical roles in the woodworking industry. Women woodworkers are helping break down gender stereotypes.

The result of disregarding gender stereotypes? It’s opening up more opportunities for other women, changing the common views about the craft, and yes females are making breakthrough accomplishments.

Meet 4 Women Woodworkers

Some of the remarkable women woodworkers are Patt Gregory, Jennifer Gripe, Danielle Thomas, and Peggy Farrington. All of them had different beginnings and their journey to where they are now. But what they share is that all of their experiences in the woodworking world have been very interesting.

Patt Gregory has quite the story from before her successful book launch and current teaching stint. She had a Secretarial job, then shifted careers by taking woodworking classes, and then becoming an advocate for Woodwork for Women, an organization that offers workshops specifically for women woodworkers. Incidentally, her book has the same title, and her passion for woodworking show proudly in both her book and classes.

Jennifer Gripe, on the other hand, started having an interest in the field because of just a few home projects she did on her own. Her main teacher was the internet; she learned from DIY blogs and the online woodworking community. Soon she was hooked as one of a growing number of women woodworkers knocking down gender stereotypes.

Danielle Thomas just had a go at it after seeing a Pinterest board involving pallets. Eight years later, she is more knowledgeable and experienced on the craft, just by learning through trial and error. Lastly, Peggy Farrington found interest in woodworking because of her desire to have a creative outlet. And while she’s fairly new to it, she’s done a great job at learning and embracing what the craft entails.

More about Women in Woodworking

These four women may have different stories and different journeys, yet all of them share the same love for woodworking. As they are all involved in the same industry, most of them had the same encounters regarding wrong notions about woodworking, including remarks on being women woodworkers. Get to know them and their full stories at Sawinery.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for posting about this excellent article, Cristy! How interesting… and yet, why shouldn’t women be able to do this, and other stereotypical male crafts? Woodworking to me makes perfect sense, I thought that a woman’s brain was supposed to be regarded as being (again, on average) more biased to creativity and a lot of woodworking (furniture, wood carvings and sculpture, and even house interior design) involves a significant amount of creative input to ensure the end result will look its best.

    My ex-bf (but good buddy) is much more suitable for heavy-lifting than I am, but in terms of anything that involves both the interior and exterior of his house then he relies on me for input… and that is not always just the design aspects, but sometimes also techniques too (e.g. on paintwork, plants to buy for his garden, and so on).

    Perhaps, as in personal relationships, men and women should also work more hand in hand in all jobs (craft or otherwise) to utilise and harmonise strengths and weaknesses of both.

  2. I love woodworking and used to regularly visit the wood shop on our military post. Ana White is another inspirational DIY/ woodworker although I think she has gotten more into designing projects for other woodworkers.

  3. My late father was a carpenter for more than forty years, so I was quite accustomed to the smell of sawdust from early childhood. I loved to watch him work, and developed an appreciation for the sheer craftsmanship that went into every piece he made. I don’t really have access to a wood shop these days, but I love to take on small projects from time to time, like refinishing a bench for my front porch. I can lose myself in the seemingly simple, but delicate tasks involved in making something of beauty.

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