We’re delighted to welcome Grant Longmore to the Woodbender team. Grant joined us in April and has taken up the position of Research and Development Manager. We caught up with him to find out more about his love of woodwork, what inspires him and what he’ll be focusing on in 2018. 1. How did you start on your career path? I’ve always loved making things and decided to study Mechanical Engineering at Natal Tech. After graduating, I worked in steel construction and then went on to spend eight years in the UK, where I learned many things – including, initially, what it was like to have absolutely no money! I also learned about design and draughting, how to use AutoCAD, and to check, check and check again. 2. What did you do on your return to SA? I met my wife in the UK and when we moved back to SA, I started a little kitchen manufacturing business. That’s when I learned that owning your own business is tough, no matter how smart you are or how hard you work. It’s definitely reserved for very special people. 3. What led you to woodwork? I started working for Pierre Cronje and went on to stay with the business for eight years. It’s here that my love for wood really began. I learned not only about wood and design, but also about managing CNC machines, and I really started to think about production – what makes it work and what doesn’t. 4. What were your first impressions at Woodbender? I think they were probably along the lines of, “Wow, so this is how you make chairs.” 5. What does your typical day look like? I haven’t been at Woodbender long enough to have a typical day, each day has been different and exciting and generally includes some research, experimenting, drawing and admin. 6. What do you love most about your work? I love solving problems and being creative – I’m in my element when I get to do both at the same time. 7. What inspires you? Problems – I love solving them. 8. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? Listen. Be patient. Never go for the money. Have the courage to be yourself. 9. When you’re not working, you’re…? Running, mountain biking and fly fishing. 10. Finally, what’s something on your bucket list? I was very lucky to spend a month backpacking in India and Nepal. I really want to do that again. It’s the kind of traveling that unavoidably immerses you in the culture of the people. It can be scary and it’s not for everyone, but I loved it.
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