The feedback I received as to whether other countries and indeed continents has their own woodworking magazines is as expected disappointing if not alarming. As expected, the US, Britain and Australia seem to lead in that they have a sufficient array of magazines to keep a modest amount of articles about the art and craft of woodworking alive amidst the excesses of what has been erroneously dubbed power woodworking. Mainland Europe for some reason seems to be the most sadly lacking after Asia as a whole. I think that this is a language issue in that English seems the common language by which woodworkers unite. Many Europeans having their own country language as their first language have no magazine at all. Others have DIY related to home making magazines, which stymie woodworking to the realms of chop, nail and screw rather than really engaging with the art of the craft as we do. That doesn’t mean that there is no one there with the desire, just that there is limited resource for them. Now when I travel to France or Holland, Germany and Belgium, Belgium is my mother’s homeland, I find fascinating methods of working wood that parallel the work of my own country but with diversification. I find horned planes and chisels that are different and moulding planes that are shaped differently too. That means that there is a a culture behind it that defines it and that culture is not being preserved and conserved in the doing of it. It would be inadequate for Belgium or Holland to read only magazines from say the USA and expect that magazine to preserve its country’s culture even though certain methods and techniques cross geographic bounds. There are sizes and proportions, woods and techniques of work pertinent to those cultures and Sweden and Denmark, Poland and Latvia all have differences in their workmanship as diverse as the languages that preserves their unison as a country. To see this distilled onto commonality would leave an aspect of their culture sadly lacking so just what can be done for us to learn of their methods without losing that cultural identity.
Is there an evolving new genre woodworker in each country yet to be born? The amateur taking on the constraints of what was in the craftsmanship of their early masters yet to be rediscovered and practiced even or especially on a non-commercial level? The conservation of craft through people who are discovering their county’s passed on a personal level and a uniting of artisans that can do what people like Robin Wood has done with the HCA? I think so. I still wonder what kind of magazine could unite these many diverse cultures from around the world that work and worked in wood. Don’t you?