Re-education at Penrhyn

A handful of seven-year-olds tumbled into the New Legacy workshop with their teachers and so I made them how to make a wooden spatula and wrote their names on a stick of wood. During their visit to Penrhyn Castle, the children visit the Victorian schoolroom, to learn about school life in the era of the Victorian.

With a saw cut between each name on the wooden stick, I took my Sorby plane, set it thick, and whisked off a quick stroke. Of course the children had never seen such a special tool that could remove their names with such efficiency and asked where all of the names had gone to. Each shaving curled up tightly in the plane and on the bench and couple fell to the floor and as I peeled them open their names were on each of the shavings.They smelled the pine as they went on their way and I touched their palate with some real woodworking. I think I may have done this for about 10,000 children over the past twenty years. They took the spatula with them and they now know what a spokeshave and tenon saw do and how shavings comes from a hand plane that smooths and shapes wood.

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