“I knew I didn’t want to sit at a desk.” That’s what HTC graduate Amanda Joynt says when she explains what inspired her to pursue a career that focused on building things rather than spending time in an office each day.

While the high school Joynt attended in the Chicago area was geared toward college-prep courses, what she enjoyed most were art and design. After graduating, she decided to take a year off from studying to explore career options. Cabinetmaking had always sounded like fun to her and she figured that even if it didn’t end up being the right career path, she would have learned a skill that would be beneficial for the rest of her life. While looking for woodworking programs, she came across an article that listed programs throughout the United States. “HTC looked like the best program,” she recalls, “so I decided it was the right one for me.” Now she’s a May 2010 graduate of the two-year program and ready to begin her career when she returns to the Chicago area. She recommends the Cabinetmaking program to others looking for quality training.

“The instructors are very knowledgeable, patient, and ready to help students,” says Joynt, who admits that before she started classes at HTC, she had never touched a saw. Two years later, she has created some prized possessions to enjoy in her own home, including a unique chair.

Amanda Joynt Chair“For the Furniture Fabrication class final project, you can build anything you want,” says Joynt. “We had done lots of ‘case’ work that included cabinets or anything with a basic box structure, but I wanted to do something we hadn’t tried yet.” Joynt also wanted to include Celtic knotwork on her project, to make use of the college’s CNC machine while it was available to her. Looking into Irish furniture, she found very little; however, she did come across the Sligo Chair, which would incorporate the knotwork and a higher degree of difficulty to build. She spent about a month building the chair, with all the work completed in class. Making the chair out of oak, Joynt then used an ammonia finish that aged the wood to a golden hue. Besides earning a good grade, the chair is a piece Joynt can enjoy for years to come. In addition to learning how to build furniture, Joynt also gained a lot of knowledge about the history of various furniture styles. For example, in Furniture Design class, each student was required to research a topic of their choice. Joynt chose Country Irish furniture for her topic, which allowed her to take a more in-depth look at the chair she was building. Right now, Joynt is looking forward to putting her training to work, perhaps creating store fixtures. She knows that not too many women pursue training in cabinetmaking,
so she may not find many women in the workplace. Joynt was the only woman in her graduating class of the Cabinetmaking program, but she says that she was never uncomfortable. In fact, thinking about her decision to attend HTC, Amanda Joynt is glad she looked for a program that let her build skills that make the most of her interest in art and design.

Looking to the future, one thing is sure – she won’t be sitting at a desk. Unless she builds it herself.

Last updated by jlaabs : 2011-03-07 13:35:09