Advice For A Young Adult

In recent weeks I’ve been corresponding with a friend-I’ve-never-met about a wide range of topics, and the question came up (paraphrased), “How can I best help my teenager to pursue a life of skilled woodworking?”  (The Dad is a brilliant woodworker but has a more-than-full-time profession).  The young adult recently visited the North Bennett Street School and was much impressed.

But, what are the other options?  It’s not a question I have given much consideration before now.

The family in question does not live in the US so moving to attend NBSS is only one option on the table.  Any good fit for the youngster will be considered regardless of location.  From conversing with the Dad I think anything from long-term apprenticing with an excellent mentor to finding a first-class skilled trade school is on the table.  The only objective is to obtain a thorough grounding in the craft, so two-week workshops are not in the cards, nor is necessarily a BFA at a university as the goal is to impart the complete skills necessary to live a long and productive life as an artisan, not inflict malignant social/political indoctrination.

What are the other options for becoming a skilled furniture maker, boatbuilder, musical instrument maker, traditional timber framing, or anything similar?  The things that come to my mind are Ecole Boulle in Paris, West Dean College and City and Guilds in the UK, some luthiery and violin-making programs, etc.

I will check more with the Dad to find out any particular proclivities of the prospective student, but if you have any good ideas please let me (and him) know about them.