Teaching is an incredibly difficult job. Students are becoming more challenging to teach each year. However, Brian Cotter leads Brian Cotter Tutoring and has found interacting ways to catch his students’ attention. Brian has found new and innovative ways to effectively teach his students. Although Brian may seem like a guru when it comes to teaching, he didn’t always start out this way. He would spend many years developing his organization through trial and error tactics. Finally, his years of experience in the industry have enabled him to become an academic consulting leader that focuses on improving the effectiveness of the classroom overall.
What is your hobby?
I have an interest in woodworking. I find that it is an incredibly relaxing hobby that allows me to tap into my creative side. I have been practicing woodworking for quite some time now. I have created all of our custom furniture pieces in our home. However, it took me many years of practice to become as proficient in woodworking as I am now.
Tell us what you love about it.
One of my favorite things about woodworking is the ability to express yourself through your creations. Being able to take what I envision in my head and bring it to life is an incredibly validating thing. I can shape the wood into anything that I imagine in my mind. I also love the challenge of woodworking. Finding new designs that are considered otherwise tedious to create can be fairly challenging too. I find a lot of exhilaration in taking on a project that pushes my skills to their limit.
Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?
There is a local group of woodworkers in my town that I regularly get together with. While we don’t have an official name, they are some of the most creative woodworkers I have ever met. We usually met at one of our workshops and talk about ideas that we can work on. It is very inspiring to work with people who I consider to be better than myself. They keep me on my toes and help me discover new ideas and techniques that I have never thought of before.
Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.
There are too many tools to name .. One of the most important purchases that I have ever made when it comes to woodworking was a solid workbench. While it is not specifically name-brand, it has allowed me to do some incredible work while providing me with a safe space to cut wood. I have also purchased some circular saws that have been incredibly sturdy. I have spent up to one thousand dollars when it comes to this hobby. Every penny has been worth it.
Where do you buy most of your supplies?
While most people go to the hardware store to purchase their supplies, I usually go to Amazon to get mine. Amazon has incredible deals on equipment that any serious woodworker would not want to pass up.
Are there any good books for beginners?
Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman is a great book to get for beginners. Nick Offerman played the infamous woodworker Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. He details some of his personal achievements in this book on the thrill of woodworking and how it can help you grow as a person. I recommend that any aspiring woodworker read this book and learn from it. You’d be surprised what you will gain from it.
How has this changed your life?
I have learned that you must put as much personality into your work as you can. Woodworking is another form of expression that showcases your personality in your work. I feel like many woodworkers are too afraid to think outside of the box whenever it comes to this hobby. They want their work to look exactly like it does in the magazines. Where is the fun in that? Go wild with your designs. Do what your heart desires. Don’t worry about what other people think. Be unapologetically yourself at all times.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
It is very important that you take things slow. Many woodworkers want to do big projects that require a master’s level of skill. Unfortunately, these projects can end up causing you to burn out. You will become frustrated at your inability to create them. This is why it is important to start small and do things that you like. You will slowly build your skills over time by following this method.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
I have always enjoyed cooking. Unfortunately, I’m not that great at it.