Anthony Long CA ’09
What led you to become a student at NBSS?
It all started with Hometime on PBS in the late 1980s for me. I was hooked. I would draw floor plans in school, and built a small model house frame out of balsa fir sticks in junior high shop class. Eventually I found myself in Boston and answered an ad for a Carpenter’s Helper from a North Bennet Street School alum by the name of Brian Vogt CA ’94 [a former Department Head of the Carpentry program], who later sent me to the one-week Intro to Machine Woodworking workshop. After serving three years as an apprentice, I decided it was time to apply.
What was the best part of your NBSS training?
The foundations of Carpentry are built upon, like any structure, and an education in craftsmanship is no different. The program supports a curriculum that allows the student the opportunity to truly understand what he/she is working with, and why. Out in the field, it is often “Go, Go, Go!” which usually results in high turnover or safety concerns. The practical approach and patience of the instructors are the best part by far.
What are you up to now?
I became a woodworker before my time at NBSS, and honestly, have never left the home building industry. I spent several years working in a cooperative cabinet & furniture studio in Brooklyn, and have done renovation carpentry in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and finally Austin, TX, where I now reside. For the past few years, I have worked for a company performing home renovations and custom homes. I began as a Carpenter, and currently I am a Project Manager, primarily focused on Residential Renovation & Remodels.
What advice do you have for students in your industry?
Find a business that exemplifies what you are looking to create for yourself. Whether it be one master craftsman or a corporation of 500+ employees, find the best, learn everything you can from them, and then ask them questions about how you can grow into that next level version of yourself. Never compete with someone who you could be mentored by. Honor the wisdom and experienced earned by years of hard work, and go out there and get to it!
Can you describe your work in just 3 words?
Beauty – Within & Without
Where do you get your inspiration?
East meets West
Favorite tool or machine?
Finding my life’s purpose.
Best advice you’ve gotten?
You can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself first.
Dream project or job?
Building my own home on my own land.
Any advice for our graduating students?
Collaborate with others where it makes sense, and blaze your own trail where it doesn’t.