C R Washburn Fine Woodworking

Focusing on your unique desires

How I Got Here

Ric Washburn in his shop

My interest in working wood began at an early age. I started whittling with my first pocket knife when I was about 10 years old. I started out like most boys - turning big pieces of wood into smaller ones. But I soon found I needed to do more than just make kindling. I took a carving class at summer camp one year, and learned how to make wooden spoons, and even tried my hand at relief carving.

School and the typical things of life soon intervened and I didn't get back to any serious woodworking until after high school. I spent a summer logging and the guy I worked with liked to make blanket chests and do wood turning. Using his equipment, I made a couple of cutting boards (logging doesn't leave you much free time). Again, my interest in woodworking was ignited, but college and life in general soon banked the flames once again.

I studied architecture in college, but soon discovered that I could do what I liked about architecture–designing homes–without a degree so I quit school and went to work as a draftsman. After fighting the building industry crash for a few years, I went back to school to learn medical electronics. I dabbled in several hobbies over the years, but having my own woodshop was always there, hiding in the back of my mind.

After years of working in the medical electronics world and fighting the stresses of corporate America, I once again took up carving as a serious hobby. I took all the classes I could find and got more and more involved with woodworking. The more I got into it the more I found it fulfilled something deep inside me that had been trying to get out for years, something I didn't even know was there.

The stresses of work were increasing due to the political environment at the hospital where I worked. And when policies were put in place that I could not ethically support, I came to realize that I needed to do something different.

Appleton Maine At the advice of family and friends, and a serious kick in the pants from my pastor, I decided to pursue my dream of woodworking. I had seen advertisements in various woodworking magazines for the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME and signed up for the Basic Woodworking class. In spite of the intense schedule of the class, I had the time of my life. Ric and Pearl

It was everything I had hoped for and more! I had found my true calling! I signed up for the Nine Month Comprehensive class offered by the school and we relocated to Maine. We bought a place in Appleton, Maine that had a horse barn on it that I converted to my shop and here I am!