Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 181, September 2020Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
 
Women in Woodworking - Meet Material Curls
By Char Miller-King
Atlanta, GA

One of the most distinct traits a person can have is to laugh at themselves. In woodworking we often find ourselves making simple mistakes, such as inaccurate measurements on our last useable board or running out of clamps. These mishaps can make or break our moments. Makers like Danette and Kat of the duo Material Curls have packaged their brand as "D.I.Try Experts" into a beautiful presence on social media. One in which they share their pitfalls of projects that took an alternative direction when diving into.

It isn't often that makers will make it a point to share their perceived failures with everyone, but that is exactly what Danette and Kat are trying to put out there. Being a genuine presence in the woodworking community is vital and these ladies bring it! Their goal is to make other beginners feel comfortable with the issues that may arise with a new venture, especially when it comes to tackling a new woodworking project.

Nestled in Charlotte, North Carolina, Danette and Kat are best friends who recently celebrated the first year of their collaboration as DIYers and sharing their journey on social media. Kat works as a commercial insurance adjuster and Danette is a flight attendant. When they are not tending to their day jobs, they are bouncing between their two work spaces. Combined they have two miter saws, circular saws, routers, drills, a table saw, and a planer. Kat's house is home base to their larger tools and their video shoots, while Danette has converted her mini utility closet into a workshop which houses the handheld power tools. Their go to brand is Ryobi, which they credit for their beginner level friendliness.

Material Curls, known for their luscious voluminous hair, began their journey by putting together a workbench. After months of using the floor as their base, an upgrade was in order. Using bench plans from another pair of DIY gurus, Shanty2Chic, Danette and Kat experienced many firsts with this project, including using pocket holes. The team also draws inspiration from another prominent YouTube DIYer, Rachel Metz for their workshop makeovers. Danette jokingly shares that she and Kat are "Proud graduates of YouTube University and are working on their Masters at The University of Pinterest."

Learning from others has helped the team realize the potential in their own homes and empowers them to take on tasks such as Danette's laundry room in her new home. Constructing a wood countertop and shelves was a huge boost to their confidence and list of accomplishments. Whether it's building platform beds, making custom planked headboards, or constructing a cedar cooler stand for a housewarming party; if it requires tools and paint they will tackle it and work on it until the job is done, no matter how long it takes. It's not uncommon for them to have multiple projects going on simultaneously; any frustrations experienced on a project require them to take a step back and reconsider their approach and then approach it from a different angle. They do not called themselves D.I.Try Experts for nothing.

For now, the duo is honing their new passion and working on their already impressive set of skills. Any commissions they do are limited to family and friends. They refer to their style of making as unconventional. This could mean using cosmetic boxes as wedges to support a shelf before securing it. What makes the team so amazing together are the different perspectives they bring to the table, Danette prefers to jump in and figure it out along the way, while Kat researches everything thoroughly.

After one year in woodworking Kat and Danette credit the woodworking community with inspiring and encouraging them to continue on this journey of becoming experts. Being a woman in wood, "is empowering! Women are underestimated when it comes to woodwork but we get it done! There are so many of us women out here kicking butt and taking names on these builds and home renovations. We talk all the time about how welcoming the woodworking community has been for us. Whenever we need help we send out an SOS on Instagram and so many people happily come to our rescue."

Material Curls has high hopes for their futures in woodworking. Their goals include growing their workspace, sharing more home improvement builds and being leaders in the DIY field for wood-based projects.

You can learn more about Danette and Kat of Material Curls by following them on Instagram and YouTube.


You can find out more about Char and her woodworking on her website and by following her on Instagram.

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