FURNITURE maker Joseph Hemingway is carving out another career - in public speaking.
Mr Hemingway, of Armitage Bridge, won plaudits for his success in making "the impossible chair" - an intricate piece of furniture designed in 1762 by Thomas Chippendale but never before constructed.
Mr Hemingway, whose company is called Thomas Chippendale Furniture, has been feted by fans of British furniture in the US and has travelled to America to meet fellow craftsmen and collectors.
Now he has joined Tameside Speakers' Club, based near Manchester, to master the art of addressing an audience.
He said: "I am in such demand to talk about the chairs both here and in the US that I needed to learn more.
"The speakers' club has been great. I have made good progress with their help."
He added: "I decided to go over the Pennines to start with rather than try it out on a local audience!"
Mr Hemingway's links with Chippendale began when, as a four-year-old, he found himself studying a carved panelled door on the sideboard in his mum's front room.
A few days later, she brought home a copy of The Gentleman And Cabinet Maker's Director, which showed Chippendale's designs.
Mr Hemingway was later apprenticed with Taylor and Hobson in Huddersfield, where he was set tasks from the book - regarded as the bible of early furniture makers.
He went on to start his own business as a cabinet maker in 1968, but by the 1980s he was starting to take special orders for Chippendale furniture.