Scott A. Sawyer CF '18
As a veteran, what led you to become a student at NBSS?
After retirement from the U.S. Navy where I served as a paralegal, I was looking for something where I felt that I could add something back to society and make a positive impact on it and my own personal life rather than the negative that I was accustomed to dealing with. While rehabbing my wife's grandmother's house, I found that I particularly enjoyed working wood, which harkened back to my childhood summers working in a wooden boatyard. I decided that building furniture would be restorative to me as well as impactful to society in a meaningful way.
There was no one particular area of the Cabinet & Furniture Making curriculum that I would consider better than any other; taken together, the entire process was literally life changing for me. If I were required to select a single aspect which I consider greater than the sum of parts, I would say that studying under people who are masters in the trade gave me a sense of belonging; a sense of membership in a tradition extending back hundreds of years.
What was the best part of your education?
As one of my instructors said, "There is so much to gain by studying historical furniture. It's like listening to good music - the more you listen to it over and over, the more you get from it."
What are you plans now that you have graduated?
I own and operate Sawyer Custom Furniture and Fine Woodworking, and have three commissions that I am currently working on.
What advice do you have for veterans who may be interested in learning at NBSS?
DO IT!! If you want to belong to a unit, but still retain the autonomous nature of independent duty, study in the Cabinet & Furniture Making program. The attention to detail that you learned in the Service will carry you far, and you will find that there is a particular cathartic nature to even some of the most mundane tasks that are completely soul soothing! CAN DO!
View more of Scott's work at Sawyer Custom Furniture and Fine Woodworking.