The more I think about sharing my creative workspace with others, the more
I become conscious that sharing worklife has immeasurable rewards that far surpass the independence of working alone. My friends and fellow woodworkers support the important work that’s true, but more than that, they share my workspace and often I share theirs. Shared life is to live life and worklife simply expands life through those we work with. I think that’s why we woodworkers today differ from those in times past in that we get together and share our lives and experiences more than ever before instead of hiding and protecting ourselves behind trade secrets.
I finished off the nine Shaker candle boxes with paint or shellac today, each a different colour or finish, but to complete the range I started two more in oak. I can make a box quickly and complete by hand using no machine or mechanical router and have any of the dovetails interchange any of the tail recess with perfect accuracy in any wood. I have never seen anyone do this before, yet I can do it time and time again. Practice makes permanent and my methods for dovetailing knock the socks off any power equipment hands down.
John’s been painting the new studio area to upgrade for our future developments yet to be announced. Painting is very much a skill we furniture makers must master. When I was young we employed painters and decorators, furniture finishers and so on. Part of the demise in woodworking trades of all types has been the loss of skilled wood finishers that enhanced the work of the woodworker so preciously. Mastering painting of any type helps us to work with finishes we need to complete our woodworking and furniture pieces.