Combining music and carpentry
George runs his cabinet and furniture shop building all kinds of bespoke projects in the Lehigh Valley. He recently completed display cases for Crayola, the famous crayon maker, in which to display all their civic awards. Most of the cabinetry is high-dollar work made in his workshop and completed on-site with the master craftsman's touch. After growing up on Long Island, he managed a construction business for there for a decade, before spending sixteen years in Los Angeles, and now calling the Lehigh Valley region home. In 2013 George said goodbye to his longtime four-legged partner, Max, who spent every day of his life in the workshop.
How did you get into your craft?
"I entered the construction business 40 years ago. I was a musician, but needed to make a living. I started a grunt. Digging ditches, actually. I got good and what I did, worked my way up, until I was a really good carpenter. I worked for a number of different companies, for a number of good old men who taught me a lot. Opened up my first cabinet shop in 1986 or '87. Been at it ever since."
What do you look forward to the most in your work?
"Not screwing up. I like what I do. Every project is different. Every job is custom, so every project is different. The guitar tables are a microcosm of what I do. That's just something I started doing beause I'm a musician. I made one for myself, and that led into making more. Most of what I do is big stuff, only to a local area where I can take it there in my truck. The guitar tables are something I can ship. Also they came out of my mind. Custom projects are made out of other people's desires. "
What would you say to a young person who wants to do what you do?
"Try to find someone who is qualified who can teach you. I'm telling ya I got lucky. I learned from some fabulous old men who took me under their wing, who saw I was eager to learn and wasn't afraid to work hard. Young people are not coming into the trade the way they did when I was young. It appears they'd rather work somewhere else. Look, I wanted to make my living making music. But I realized it was never going to happen. Not necessarily that I wasn't good enough, but just that there's so much of a degree of luck to make it in show business. It's a different kind of art than music, but there's a lot of artistic pleasure to what I do."