Yesterday opened as usual right on time and my booth started filling two minutes later. It seemed to me that from that opening things never really slowed down for me.
Sunshine makes all the difference to any day and although I couldn’t see outside from the hall, people seemed happy and engaged. For me the demonstrations are more the means to engage people so that openness is critical and often hinges on the interest they have in the possibility of becoming competent with hand tools. It is unfortunate that most peoplemseemmto know that they cannot gain mastery in hand planing or sawing and I know that they can. Unless you have that faith that you can, you won’t and so my goals are different than most people at the show.
Today I am going to start making the workbench from scratch. It’s quite a challenge for me and means additional hard work. I plan to plane chop and saw some hemlock/fir into a decent bench and then who knows what we will do with it. The exercise will be good for me, that’s a lot of hand planing, but I do want people to get off the conveyor belt a little.
I am still very concerned about children in woodworking issue. Yesterday I saw two girls and one boy in the whole show and only a handful of women. That is no fault of the show,me or the other vendors. I think this is directly attributed to machine manufacturers who do indeed hog the market and have nothing to offer to balance out the problem. Since machines dominate the market of woodworking and in fact invade sanity at every level, we will never see this change. No one seems to be responsible for bringing about change and so the problem goes on. Eventually this situation will be sealed and woodworking could one day become a machine only form of making and no longer a craft.
This next comments will indeed get me in deep, deep water. You cannot use a machine to work wood and call it Woodcraft. The machine substitutes for the very thing we call skill and art, but it cannot replace it. Anyone that says a machine is a tool can never understand the art and craft of woodworking. As long as we think and express this, we will never see children and women in the wood shop working with their hands.