From start to date

Looking back through my images taken over the past three weeks I am amazed at the transformation that’s taken place from the first dovetailed box on the 30th October 2012 to the confident reconciliation twixt wood and tool today.

It’s no small thing for a man or a woman to pursue their dream to become a woodworker and the aspirations are what makes the difference. We cut through the excesses that cause dissipation to deliver in exact measure what it takes to become a furniture maker or a boat builder or a violin maker. It’s dead simple. All you need is a good foundational training and that’s what makes all the difference.





Colin (left) wants to be and therefore will be a woodworker. He has become that man after only a few short weeks. By the time this week is done he will have made four great projects and he never used any of these tools until three weeks ago. You see it’s in the wanting that causes the dynamic. Once you have that, the rest is just self discipline and determination. He overcame the intimidation that said you can’t, invested his time in the working out of things and has become creative in thought and deed. that’s what they have all done, all eleven of them over the past few short weeks. It wasn’t easy for any one of them.

They had some things to battle with when things didn’t quite split at the right time or go in the direction they thought it would, but character proved good and they continued to master whatever it was they struggled against. yes, I and their fellow students encouraged them, felt for them and indeed helped them at different stages, and remember, this is advanced stuff.


There is nothing rinky-dink about this course and they are the ones now sharpening planes and scrapers. Should I tell you of every, mistake it would be unfair, but life is just like wood; it comes with knots in it.


Where will they all go from here. On to apprenticeships, start their own business, work from home in their garage, form a co-op. Who knows That’s the backbone of British industry and enterprise. So too the USA or Slovakia or Sweden, Scotland, Wales.





All of that’s in the present and the tomorrow. We simply plant seeds, water the garden and then wait for the growth. Who knows what will become of our endeavour to pass on skill and knowledge about our craft.


I know some of these guys are destined to make lifestyle shifts in their lives. I dont know everything they will do bit then I donlt need to know. They have a good start and that’s what matters.


One of the greatest influences on my life was a photograph of Edward Barnsley’s workshop many decades ago when he was stood in clutter and surrounded by a group of young men he was apprenticing. His beautiful chairs spoke volumes and so too his presence in age training young people. That picture became my goal and I have done it and am doing it. Who knows what the outcome of things will be.


This is Phil who is helping me with the classes and learning at the same time as my understudy. Who knows what he will accomplish with his woodworking and his life beyond that.