The Real Woodworking Campaign (RWC)

The RWC is going really well but we still need people to not only sign on, but comment too. Please be absolutely assured that this is not a commercial ploy for some venture or launch aside from truly evaluating the future of woodworking so we can create a strategy that counters the mass-making culture, restores an ethic for working with real wood, adopt methods and techniques that are diverse and intuitive rather than devised only for mechanical manufacture and so much more.

Please give me your views on how we can make a difference for the new genre woodworker and how we can help such an emerging generation. This is likely to be an unfolding strategy but woodturners and chair bodgers, violin makers, timberframers and boat builders all have a place in giving the diverse voice we need to progress into a future yet unknown and undefined.

One comment on “The Real Woodworking Campaign (RWC)

  1. Hi Paul we have discussed this privately but thought since you ask I would put a public comment up for you.

    I love the title “Real woodworking campaign” and feel to be a committed “real woodworker”. I think we need to define the campaign a little though. What is in and what is out? Talking about how mass marketing tools that deskill the job is OK but the truth is woodworking is a continuum from the dedicated hand tool woodworker sourcing their own timber at one end of the spectrum to the machine man using imported kiln dried tropical wood or MDF at the other end of the spectrum.

    Where do we draw the line? What exactly is this campaign promoting? I for instance am passionate about sourcing wood sustainably and locally, there are parallels here with the food industry where provenance and back story has become increasingly important I believe customers will soon start asking where our raw material was sourced. Is someone who uses timber from the other side of the world but works it with hand tools any more “real” than someone who uses local timber and machines?

    We all know that some machines de skill the job and others are useful tools. David Pye probably gave the best academic critique of this with his definitions of the workmanship of risk and the workmanship of certainty. Are we going to say band saws are OK as part of RWC but routers are not? what about planer thicknessers? I am involved in a similar campaign in the wider craft field where we formed the Heritage Crafts Association, with that we set our focus on the degree of hand skill and understanding of materials at the point of manufacture, as distinct of many machines which take a lot of skill setting up but then there is no skill needed during manufacture (Pye’s workmanship of certainty)


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