From Hi-Tech to Lo-Tech: A Woodworker’s Journey

Norman Pirollo, successful founder of White Mountain Design, White Mountain Toolworks, WoodSkills, Refined Edge Design and Pirollo Design, chronicles his fascinating journey from full-time employment to being self-employed at woodworking. Follow the riveting story of how his hi-tech career gradually evolved into a woodworking career. Read how Norman overcame obstacles and through determination and perseverance, finally attained his goal of self-employment at woodworking. Discover how Norman acquired the skills and techniques to be able to craft heirloom furniture today. Author Norman Pirollo shares his creative journey from childhood through adulthood. Perseverance, fate and critical decisions all combined to map out the direction he followed in life.

Looking back at his early youth, it can be seen that creativity was always his strong point. As the journey progressed, he often sought creative outlets and challenges in life. Woodworking ultimately became his creative outlet. Norman faced many obstacles throughout the journey and financial support was often at the forefront. He enjoys where he is today in life, having accumulated considerable experience and expertise at several woodworking businesses. He is also indebted to his former hi-tech career, which provided him fulfillment for a number of years. There were many false starts in transitioning from full time employment to being self-employed at woodworking. The opportunity to work at something he truly enjoys has ultimately brought solace and independence to his life.

Delving into and studying the history of furniture design has provided him the language and background to develop his own contemporary styled furniture. Read how he immersed himself into the contemporary furniture world to develop a style and voice of his own. Find out how, through twists and turns, Norman acquired the expertise and proficiency to become an award-winning furniture maker. Norman never looks back at missed opportunities. It is also important to view any setbacks as valuable experience in your own journey. The time and effort invested in following your own dream will be well worth it.


Norman also maintains a blog of ongoing projects in his studio at: as well as having recently written and published three books. Books and magazines featuring the authors furniture, work methods and philosophy:

From Hi-Tech to Lo-Tech: A Woodworker’s Journey (New Art Press)
Start Your Own Woodworking Business (New Art Press)
ooted: Contemporary Studio Furniture (Schiffer Publishing)
IDS15 (Studio North)
IDS14 (Studio North)
Canadian Woodworking magazine Jan. 2015
Our Homes magazine Fall 2014 IDS14 (Studio North)
NICHE Magazine Winter 2013
Fine Woodworking magazine
Woodwork magazine
Wood Art Today 2 (Schiffer Books)
500 Cabinets ( Lark Books)
Studio Furniture: Today’s Leading Woodworkers (Schiffer Books)
Fine Woodworking Shopmade Jigs 2009 2012
Canadian Interiors Design Source Guide
Ottawa Life magazine
Panoram Italia magazine
Our Homes magazine
Craft Journal

“Norman, I just finished your book!!! What a journey you have traveled to arrive at your present creative self. Your art speaks for itself but I really identified with your business approach to developing your brand. A really good read”  Carole Malcolm,  fine artist at

230 Pages, Non-fiction, Softcover.
Digital version available ($15) at WoodSkills
Print version of book $19 available directly at Amazon