The Real Woodworking Campaign continues here in the US.
Being here in Baltimore at the Woodworking Shows makes me ever conscious of the need for much greater levels of educational input for woodworkers, and not just new ones either. I demonstrated all day yesterday and indeed the day before on the hour every hour and then when I was finished we all talked around the bench until the the next masterclass. For the hundreds of people who came I was able to demolish the myths and mysteries of woodworking in some great measure with most people commenting that they never knew that you could do so much with a #4 hand plane – the one I bought on eBay a few weeks ago and posted of on my blog two weeks ago. The same is true of handsaws and chisels, sharpening, and using the tools and so on. It’s amazing to me how needful we woodworkers are and how minimalist we are in hand tools altogether these days.
Significant trends need reversing and we are all important to this.
Two things very apparent at the US show – no children and not many women woodworkers. The key reason I personally now conclude for this is that woodworking today is a predominantly a machine manufacture and NOT a craft. I feel that I have been too tolerant of machine exponents and that the Real Woodworking Campaign may be more critical than I even thought in reestablishing craft workshops for future generations.
The aisles were indeed full all through the day and we had a phenomenal attendance that never waned one bit. But then neither did the booths selling routers and router bits and dovetail jigs and salesmen selling a zillion things we woodworkers supposedly need to make a box like the one I made on YouTube here.
Massive sales drives
I stand and listen to the salesmen who sell their tools, equipment and machines and i wonder in amazement how gullible people really are. People were spending hundreds of dollars on stuff they didn’t need or better should i say they didn’t need until the salesman started his pitch and then they suddenly couldn’t live without. As if a dovetail jig is somehow going to launch you into the realms of being a master of anything. You see people don’t believe that they can cut a dovetail and it’s all based on past failures, what salesmen tell you and how well a presenter is at a woodworking show. The tragedy is everyone can cut a hand-cut dovetail.
Oh, well! We must persevere.