Deriving joy from woodwork

He handcrafted almost all the furniture in his home himself.

Mr Gregory Swyny, 34, the founder of The Woodwork Initiative, made his own kitchen cabinets, bedroom wardrobe, bookshelves, and computer table out of wood when he moved into his home at Bukit Merah with his wife in 2011.

Mr Swyny, a Singaporean of Irish heritage, has conducted two woodwork workshops this year.

In these classes, participants learn to make furniture like bar stools and knick-knacks such as bottle openers out of wood.

The arts management graduatedivides his time between woodwork projects under The Woodwork Initiative, which took off early this year, and working freelance at a theatre company.

Mr Swyny held his first workshop last month after he helped friends make wooden furniture for their store and people started inquiring about and showing interest in learning carpentry.

He plans to conduct more workshops after noticing a growing interest in carpentry.


The workshops, which are held in Chinatown, teach participants to cut, put together and sand raw wood using heavy machinery.

The classes cost between $45 and $150, and last for around two to four hours.

An average of seven participants have attended the past two workshops, but Mr Swyny hopes to run bigger classes in the future.

Mr Swyny said his father used to take him to worksites and teach him woodwork, but he found his passion in the craft only in his early twenties when he realised that he was good at carpentry and enjoyed woodwork.

He said: "I've always been influenced by art and I've always known that I wanted to do something creative.

"Carpentry allows me to be a designer and maker at the same time and this gives me the most satisfaction."