News - October 8, 2009

Arjan + wood

'The best bit is figuring out how to make something by hand'

Arjan de Jong, software engineer at the Centre for Geo-Information
Birthday coming up? Related to Arjan de Jong, by any chance? If so, the odds are on your getting a wooden birthday present. An upmarket chopping board perhaps, or a beautifully crafted little chest. Arjan de Jong's hobby is making furniture, and he does it with great precision and love for his materials. That's obvious at a glance. It all started three years ago. 'I was doing up the house and needed a built-in cupboard. You can get them at IKEA, but I thought there must be other options.' So he signed up for a woodwork course, and he hasn't looked back. He works away to his heart's content in the cellar he's turned into a workshop. 'Having an idea and then making it with your hands. That's what gives you a kick. In my job I make things too - software. But this is something tangible.'