Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy and are inspired by the stories I tell and the suggestions and thoughts I share. To find out more about what These Are The Heydays is all about, click here

- Diane

Joel's joyous creations

Joel's joyous creations


My dad was a self-taught and fantastically skilled carpenter. I loved sitting with and helping him whilst he made and fixed things in his tool shed. It gave me a lasting love of the creativity and skill involved in craftsmanship. I've introduced you to a number of wonderfully creative Heydayers, Sharon with her fabulous clay creations, Margo the jeweller,  Sue and her love of teaching creative skills. And of course, David and his sculpture last week. Now meet Joel, 55. The joy he gets from making furniture is as infectious as his wonderful smile. 

"I’ve always been creative, always tried to fix things to try and make them work better. I started making furniture because I was in the market for some garden furniture and there was nothing out there that I really liked or that was robust enough to last the test of time. So in the end I ended up making my own couple of bits. Then other people would come round to my house and ask where I got the furniture from and when I said I’d made it, they’d say “Really? can you make me one.” And it just started from there. 

At first, I really enjoyed the fact that it made people happy, but then I realised it was making me happy too, because if you can bring joy to someone else, that should bring joy to what’s inside of you as well. It helps you to move along, and it helps other people too. That’s my way of thinking. 

You have to find your own happiness, making furniture is my happiness

You can live in a tent and be happy. You can live in a two up two down house and be happy. You can live in a mansion and be happy. But you can also live in any of those places and be unhappy. You have to find your own happiness and making furniture is my happiness.

When I design and make a piece for someone, we sit down and I try to understand what’s going on in that person’s head, what they want, what they want if for, and what I can do. So we work together at first, then I’ll maybe do a drawing and we’ll go from there. And by the end it’ll be something different from what they thought they wanted at first anyway, 

As an artist I see art in everything. I see beauty in everything. It could be stone - I’ll pick up a pebble off of the beach because I see the wear on it and I wonder about how it started off and what it looked like. How big was it? Where did it come from? How did it become this size and on this beach?"

Want to see some of Joel's joyous creations? I thought you might!

Sonja's inspiring storytelling

Sonja's inspiring storytelling

David reveals his new sculpture

David reveals his new sculpture