The All-Girls Woodworking Club in West Texas That Everyone is Talking About
Normally the pages of Architectural Digest are filled with stories about maple floors, cedar cabins, tree-filled gardens, pools surrounded by live oaks, and new uses of wood that test our commitment to not coveting our neighbors’ property. Recently, though, they featured a story that despite our best efforts made us covet the woodworking skills of a group of young girls in Texas.
Lumber Club Marfa is a wood-working workshop for girls currently ranging in age from 7-14. It’s not a club, according to Architectural Digest, but “a proper collective” of industrious young women learning their way around serious power tools. Founded by artist Larry Bamburg, who arrived in Marfa with his wife, Jenny Moore, and their two daughters. Bamburg decided to teach his daughters and their friends how to make things themselves. That wholesome family fun grew into a community-wide organization that it is today.
Now, every Friday members of Lumber Club Marfa meet up after school and study the art of woodworking. During their meetings, they learn how to find the right piece of wood whether it’s walnut or mahogany or some other hardwood. They then cut, sand, drill, and thread the wood and whatever else is necessary to build one of the workshop’s trademark three-legged stools. Once the stool is finished, it’s hand stamped and numbered and sold on the Lumber Club Marfa website.
As the workshop has grown and the Lumber Club Marfa’s stools become in-demand far outside Texas, the girls are learning other skills, too. There’s invoicing, and shipping, and figuring out where to source materials, all part of running a successful business.
The members sand and saw and invoice for two hours or so, and then break for pizza and game of tag, because while they are becoming master woodworkers, they’re still kids.
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While some parents may frown at the idea of a seven-year old girl facing down a band saw, Moore seems to believe it’s absolutely empowering and character building. “Watching a little girl take on a sander is powerful,” Moore told Architectural Digest. “I’ve seen them push through their comfort zone, wipe away tears and sawdust, and get back at it.”
And the best part is that for $300 you can bring their hard work home in the form of a unique, three-legged stool for all your neighbors to covet.