When I heard about the inspiration behind the Black Dog Workshop and what it will do I was taken back by how much I could relate.
Without going into too much detail, I was born into a family that, for lack of a better description, didn’t want me. As a result, the earliest memories I have were of being passed from pillar to post between care homes and temporary foster homes.
Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones and was adopted by two wonderful people who became the best Mum and Dad anyone could have. They gave me every opportunity to grow and develop all my interests and it was very clear from a very young age that I enjoyed making things, especially with wood.
But, and sadly there is a but, the damage had already been done. Due to never understanding why my biological parents didn’t want me, I grew up with an unrelenting fear of rejection which would lead me down many paths of severe depression and in turn, solitude. It was often easier to reject others before they rejected me, even when there was no sign of them doing so.
Throughout my young adult life I continued to alienate myself from everyone around me and just settle for a life of feeling rejected and alone and I never saw what could turn it all around for me even though it was clear to everyone else that I had a flair for anything creative and everyone always told me.
It wasn’t until I met my wonderful wife and she encouraged me to start up my little wood workshop, originally in our spare room, and later in the garage.
So, it was a little over 18 months ago I saved up and bought my first lathe and from there I never looked back.
The sheer joy I get out of mounting a piece of wood, any wood, and just seeing what I can come up with, even if it just a big pile of shavings, is wonderful.
Over the last year, I have spent many hours (days actually) of pure enjoyment developing my skills on the lathe, and I now even sell my products to customers all over the world. What better feeling of acceptance could there be?
Turning wood has turned my life from continuous feelings of rejection to repetitive joy of acceptance and if the Black Dog Project can help just one person turn their life around in a similar way, then I wish it and Martin every success, and thank you for bringing the opportunity of turning to others.