The workshop seems empty today. I enjoyed finishing up a few outstanding projects and meeting the visitors. Sold a piece too. People really like the Hope Chest but I can’t sell it until we have filmed it for the next DVD series and completed all the photography. I think I could have sold it three times this week had I had a price tag on it. People really like chests and especially oak hope chests. There’s something really solid about them. Kind of like, well, hopeful, you know?

I walked in the woods a couple of times for my sanity walk and to think through different events I am working on. This is often where my designs begin and I think about proportions, shapes, purpose and so on. As I walk I pick tenon sizing and dovetail options in my head. I make mental notes and choose wood types, accents and hardware as I look up through the branches and smell the rain in damp pockets and woody tilth.

It’s rained on and off for a few days, but this was a day of mixed showers and the kind I enjoy. I like standing under the trees when the rain pours as I walked I saw how saturated the colours were, especially in the flowers by the Penrhyn Castle entrance to the grand house. The trees are gaining that wonderful lime green colour and I love the shades in the early leaves of the copper beeches. The wild cherries are full of blossom and one tree I know has a nest of bees that gather from it as I walk.

I know that I live in a wonderful world and I do not take it for granted. I would that others could and would get off the conveyor belt. I work hard and long hours as I need to and shift from physical work to writing frequently so that my next book will be ready for the new year. Life choices reflect in your expectations and being realistic is critical to wellbeing. I know many people who invest and gamble in unreal expectations and false optimism.


  1. Brent P. on 12 May 2012 at 4:13 am


    I’m excited to hear about the next DVD series. I am working through Working Wood 2 and I amazed at how quickly I’ve learned. You said in one of the videos that after working through the projects you’d like your students to be as comfortable with techniques as you are. At first I thought that might be a bit of hyperbole but it is not, I am confident in my ability to use the techniques you teach. I obviously lack experience, but the confidence is there.
    I’ve also been teaching my young children (ages 4 and 3) to use the spoke shave and coping saw. Both of them are picking up the techniques for using those tools very quickly.

    • Paul Sellers on 12 May 2012 at 7:16 am

      So glad to hear this. This is what real woodworking and our Real Woodworking Campaign os all about. We must reach the next generation and this is how it’s done.. Well done you.

  2. Howard in Wales on 13 May 2012 at 11:24 am

    An interesting piece.By coincidence, I’m planning something very similar – still at the drawing stage – and I’m contemplating doing linen- fold side panels.
    A question about the finish, or more precisely the colour: this type of chest in the Arts / Crafts style was traditionaly fumed. Was this how you did it? If so, could you elaborate?

    all best   

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