Its another hand tool school weekend coming up (2-3 April) and the focus is on a range of tasks and skills people desperately need to enhance their knowledge of working wood and knowing how wood works. The whole weekend is all about wood and the stuff of working it into something of real value using your own steam, skill and design, but it’s also about the value wood has in enhancing our lives by simply knowing it and the therapy of working it.
I love all of my courses because of one thing I have very little to do with: strangers meet, they listen to each other and they talk about this incredible resource. We learn how best to fathom the fibres’ depth skilfully so that instead of merely looking shallowly at the surface grain we discover the substance of wood that colors and adds texture to our life.
It’s not a fanciful thing, working wood. I read it like a man reads a book most of the time. My eye looks for the swirling eddies and the spiralling twist that tells me where to place my plane and spokeshave or axe. The thickening amber streaks tell me where the sap once rose and the strongest smell of resin lay like pearl drops in the pine pocket cells.
This Discovering Woodworking is just one of my favourite woodworking courses and I am only sorry if you cannot make it to North Wales for this coming hands-on workshop weekend. But, we have many other workshops scheduled and plans for more, so if you are disappointed at all, don’t let it stop you.