First day of the UK Month-long workshop

Today we added greater meat to the bones of our Foundational Course. Here we test and challenge the efficacy of my work over the past 20 years. I know it work because hundreds have proven it. This course is different. They make three major projects without using machines and having worked mostly with hand tools for 9 days only, the challenges are very real.

Cut-to-dimension materials are ready at each intersecting juncture and with every surface then planed, shaved or scraped only by hand, from here on it’s mostly joints. Good joints usually don’t come easy. There are no guarantees yet because training hasn’t reached a level where certainty results from trained hands. The complexities within the upper body start to align minute by minute. Thankfully, I think, they soon forget the confusions of rigid micro-bevels and engineering science foisted on them and enter new creative realms that drive them. Now in new freedom they begin to respond to pulsing rhythms and energy in realms they’ve not yet known. Each muscle strained to task and beyond that sinews and tendons flex with nerve pulses and all senses engage as never before. I see veins swell and neck muscles expand, you see. Each of thousands such strains is developing and exercising the whole body as a whole and the upper body more intensely. Soon these responses have established an ability to response more accurately, instantly and directly.

Wood splits and chisels slip but that’s what we master and, as they progress, the students mistakes and slips lessen. At least that’s the plan. They remain directly attached to their work, seldom breaking from the task and always willing to work the wood differently when shown a way that might correct something that failed. There isn’t much conversation. They don’t really know one another, but that’s not the reason. They are too engaged with their work, too busy, to intense, but soon that will diminish a little and friendships will grow. I like that break that comes and we share more with one another. Today was a great day all round. Dovetails gradually came together. By tomorrow night we will have the main boxes together and glued up. Some will be perfect, some close, and some not. There will be tool boxes very soon. That’s what matters. These guys have invested themselves in this. It’s cost them to be here. Time, money, effort. It’s cost their families and friends, employers and colleagues in some measure great or small. I like that they chose to spend 30 days with me. I appreciate it.