Today is day one of nine

TodayDSC_0002I didn’t quite make it to the river as I planned earlier. Time escaped me, but I felt refreshed walking along the front of the castle to the shop. We are somewhat international today I think. One American-born living in Sweden, one German-born living in Dubai, one from the Netherlands, one home-based here from Wales and the rest of us Brits. As we intro’ed each other we found our common interests, common goals that were all more special than common because they united us inclusively in our pursuits.

DSC_0103There was a freedom as we first talked about our goals and aspirations really. That’s not always so common with men, but there was an openness with one another and that’s where something common translates into a rare and unique union between a handful of people. It doesn’t happen as often as anyone might hope for. DSC_0014Work people do for ‘organizations’ does not usually transcend cultural differences and barriers, although I believe it can and does in some circumstances, but, here, this work we did today was volunteered, stringless, thornless and seamless. We laughed and got serious in quick sequence. Smiles replaced uncertainty as chisels sliced and planes whisked off plumes that filled benchtops and floor. For most of my students regardless of continent, this can be the very first time they used such tools. The class and my goal is to present truth first and then, when they come up against falseness they can readily identify the wrong and not have to run down rabbit trails in search of truth. We sharpen, they see what works, cut through to the core and start working real wood with real tools. They accomplish.

DSC_0012My tools lay on the bench and I pick them up one by one throughout the day and each demonstration. They watch and listen and as they do they learn about issues surrounding hand tools that make them work. DSC_0068They learn of the many ways they can sharpen their tools and learn of the different abrasive stones, plates, pastes, and other such things. DSC_0022When we are done, they see with greater understanding and can make educated judgment based on what they learned and then what they experienced as the tools slice into the dross and they discover real woodworking. I like to see their faces through my lens. A smile traces their faces as determination overcomes and brings the result that a few minutes before seemed so illusive. I watch flawed thoughts transferred to the plane and encourage a different approach. The man responds willingly and understanding begins to reshape the thought, which then brings success. Muscles flex differently now, at the end of the day, as each user gains confidence, and the atmosphere is charged and destined for growth, creativity and an artistic proclivity yet to unfold. Follow with us we work through the next 8 days.


  1. Jamesie on 14 April 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Hard not to be a wee bit jealous of these folk!! I am sure they will have a great and rewarding time. One day I hope to be there too.

  2. Eddy Flynn on 14 April 2013 at 5:14 pm

    hear hear jamesie i think paul should go live with the webcam