094: Intersection: Babette the Builder, Woodworker

Updated: Mar 8



In the previous episode, we met Katherine who shared the unique process she uses to paint, the way she manages her time to pursue both artistic projects and graphic design work, and the great story of how she came to work for Rod Stewart on a project. She also discussed how important determination is to be able to do the work that speaks to you and today’s guest agrees.


Allow me to officially introduce you to today’s guest: Babette the Builder.


Babette is a self-taught furniture builder, designer and DIYer with a strong design aesthetic, experimenting her way through woodworking and power tools. Making sure that her followers don’t make the same mistakes as she does, she shares her failures and success stories, while continuously learning from the wealth of experience the Instagram Community has to offer. Her goal is to show people that you do not need to be an expert to make beautiful things and that you can do more than you think if you just start.


In our conversation, Babette and I discuss how she fell into woodworking by accident, the way resourcefulness is an important skill in creative work and her belief that sometimes formal education and training dampens creativity.


Key Ideas Discussed:

  • She fell into woodworking by accident at the beginning of the pandemic

  • She had extra wood lying around so she decided to try something

  • Woodworking is much different than her desk job

  • Very determined - so she figured out how to build a couch; had nothing to lose, it's all an experiment

  • Geometric, clean lines, Bauhaus-inspired; clean and angular

  • Spontaneous process; process often takes much longer than she thinks it will

  • The possibilities are endless

  • Resourcefulness - just starting, just playing

  • Creating a lot with a little

  • Sometimes formal education/training in the area dampens creativity

  • There are lots of projects that if she had known ahead of time would have been so challenging she might not have done them (therefore, ignorance can be empowering)

  • She likes big projects - tables, couches

  • Her dining room table is practical and beautiful - she sits at it every day; it uses a lot of materials and processes that she's never used before

  • She doesn't want to take commissions and build for other people - she doesn't want to execute others plans; it's a lovely hobby that she wants to stay a lovely hobby


Among many insights gained, Babette reminds us about the spontaneity of her creative process and the joy she finds in the unplanned approach to her work. Closing the loop and bringing this series full circle, spontaneity connects Babette with me, looping back to the very first episode in this series 077: Intersection Primer.


While reaching out to the artists in this series stayed true to my typical, spontaneous creative process, everything else was a new experience for me. Over the last 6 months, this process involved:


Collection of 17 interviews with diverse female artists spanning 5 countries.

Dissection of these episodes to uncover their unique differences and universal commonalities.

Reflection about how to fit this giant puzzle of a series together in a meaningful way.

Finding connection between the artists, as I settled on my creative constraint of linking one to the next.

And, ultimately, intersection of the 17 artists, sharing their stories, as well as the stories between the stories.


One of my favourite truisms that I feel deeply and often is Curiosity + Constraint = Creativity. This podcast series was a perfect realization of this idea. Curiosity drew me into each new conversation with a genuine desire to understand these artists and their creative processes. Constraint challenged me to listen below the surface level, peel back the conversations and visually map out each Intersection.



Secondary podcast episode art that contains the text ‘Episode 094 Intersection: Babette the Builder, Woodworker’ on a blue background and half of a yellow paper boat.

Babette leaning over her intricate wood table which is in-progress.

A saw cutting through an intricate wood patterned surface.

An intricate patterned wood table.

An intricate cube illusion table top with various-stained of wood.

A wood outdoor couch with cushions on top.

a digital illustration that depicts Babette the Builder’s point of intersection between ‘determination’ and ‘spontaneity’.

 The complete map of the colourful, intersecting circles that represent the 17 artists and their connections to one another.

About Our Guest:

A photo of Babette holding clamped-together pieces of wood, standing strong in front of the camera.

Babette is a self-taught furniture builder, designer and DIYer with a strong design aesthetic, experimenting her way through woodworking and power tools. Making sure that her followers don’t make the same mistakes as she does, she shares her failures and success stories, while continuously learning from the wealth of experience the Instagram Community has to offer. Her goal is to show people that you do not need to be an expert to make beautiful things and that you can do more than you think if you just start.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/babettethebuilder/



Music (public domain via Free Music Archive): Chad Crouch - Rainbow


Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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