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2011 Woodfest Post III

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Well, back to work today when all others are taking their rest on Bank Holidays. As if the banks need holidays.

Yesterday’s visit to Woodfest still resonates with mixed feelings. Here are some more thoughts I wanted to share:

A timberframed building comprises many parts fitly framed together with each of the parts creating the whole. Some parts can be removed, but the void is felt by all. So it is with crafts. As one craft dies, the whole becomes less and the whole feels the loss. Crafts find meaning in support of agrarian life as well today as it did in times past. The leather resisted wear and gave comfort to the pulling drafts as much as chairs and stools at the craftsman’s bench. I hope we can conserve the craft through the working of the raw wood and iron, the wool and the bent willow.




Craft will only be conserved through those working with their hands. Craft is classless. It relies no longer on peasants and working classes, specific genders, religions or professionals in their sphere. It relies heavily on what would have at one time been called amateurs. A passionate group who work whether they get paid or not, go to shows fully risking all that they worked for in the hope that working with their hands will be recognized and valued by some who could and will support those producing well executed work.




And so it goes that we woodworkers, basket makers, carvers and felters, spinners of wool and others continue to preserve the best of the past for those in a future yet to come. We mind our businesses and guard our work standards as we work with our hands. In times past crafts were preserved by those living in monasteries, in colleges and others with religious prestige. The guilds too played a vital part in the preservation of standards of work, but today we have no such cohesive structure to protect and preserve our crafts except our personal integrity and our love for working within the sphere of our vocational callings. Our love for our work never grows old, not really.


We tire as we grow older, but we share in hope, anticipating much more than financial reward for the reward is in the work. I work to live but also live to work because the way I work is my fulfilled vocational calling. ‘Vocare’ -to call. Work is indeed honourable; not meant to be soul destroying.

  • Ed on As Boring Things Go…Al, I think Paul is saying that humans have a basic need for respect and to feel valued by others. If we take a persons work as just a moment of amusement and then cast it aside, w…
  • Samuel on As Boring Things Go…The actual poor don’t read this blog extensively I think.. And they couldn’t afford a tenon saw or the wood for a bench, unless will power well exceeded means. Rent,fuel, insurance…
  • Jeff D on As Boring Things Go…Can that pillar drill take other kinds of drill bits like the auger bits?
  • Max™ on As Boring Things Go…I was looking at the minicurls coming from my iwasakis and on a lark rubbed some around in my palms when I realized it could make a remarkably nice grit in a hand scrub. I also kee…
  • Al on As Boring Things Go…Paul, I started my journey into hand tool woodworking about a year ago and have learned an incredible amount from your videos and your blogs. You have such a clear and direct manne…
  • John2v on As Boring Things Go…Hi Paul Your handraulic "drill press". I did post a comment the first time you showed it to us about STAVROS GAKOS using one on utube. In fact one of your followers said " he would…
  • Chris on As Boring Things Go…Absolutely Paul. Your first comment I go with completely. It is not so very different today. Zero-hours contracts etc.
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