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We’re interviewing makers from all 50 states. Today we’re featuring Char Miller-King, a woodshop educator from Georgia.

How did you get started woodworking? Who were your mentors?
I am a self-taught maker. My first project was a platform bed that I made in 2003 with a borrowed drill and battery-powered screwdriver. My bed was inspired by a photo from a magazine. I couldn’t afford the bed, so I set out to make it. From there I took on other small projects and learned how to use each tool through trial and error. There were bookcases and more beds. I read a lot of books and watched the Woodsmith Shop and This Old House on the weekends to gain useful insight. Everywhere I went, I picked up a bit of knowledge about tools, techniques, and processes. Soon my circle of friends expanded and our conversations centered around making and resources. Once I get an idea in my mind, I figure out how to do it, with the knowledge I have. My uncle has been a carpenter for over 40 years. He taught me a lot of making and introduced me to the CNC. I send all my questions to him.

What do you think is your best or favorite work? What kind of work do you do the most?
My favorite project is the modern desk that I built last summer. I have gone through several iterations of desks. There was a hanging wall desk that I used for a few years that quickly became too small for my needs. So I set out to make something larger, a place for my monitor, drawers to conceal the papers, and enough room to spread out. It’s my hub, all things start there. My ideas go from my mind to paper there; I communicate with my colleagues from there. I am an educator at heart, most of my work is in the shop showing others how to make. I teach woodshop classes at my local maker space, Decatur Makers, to children as young as seven, and adults of all ages. My mission is to bring woodshop back to…

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