John fitted right back in to enhance things going on at the workshop. He on his third project which is the tool chest we did on woodworking masterclass three or four projects back. We will use it at the workshop for keeping my camera and lenses in to protect them during my work at the bench.
It’s not hard being with people who like being there, like what they are doing and somehow strive to be a problem solver like John and Phil both do. I mention something, anything, and a few minutes further on into life they’ve solved what was wrong or at least found the answer. John is a natural when it comes to wood, woodworking, hand tools and thinking through all issues.
A few days ago Matt Richardson came in too. He’s spending another week here as part of his personal development and training. As a barrister in London his goal is to plumb the depths of woodworking over the coming months and years until he becomes a master craftsman and to do that he’s rented bench space near where he lives so he can make his own furniture. It’s all to easy to use words like amatuer, hobby and pastime, but that’s not what’s happening with John, Phil and Matt, their goals, no, their ambitions, go so much deeper, so much higher and so much wider than that. They plan to master what they do, master their craft, know their materials inside out and carve out that area of life we still call craft. I invest in these things. They invest in these things. We unite to share time and emotion working together and new woodworking masters are born with patience and love for their craft.
I’m working on the same tool chest again. Alongside them both. This ones in mahogany and this time it’s a gift for someone. I also designed a new project I am considering for woodworking masterclasses. The construction can be adapted to tables of any size and type, desks, beds, work platforms and many more. Beyond that the inner workings we call vocation lives in a reality not too many know and understand or relate to any more. To do what we are doing is a sacrifice. We give up something to do it. That something can be work, family, friends, money. The sacrifice is not just ours but those we relate to. But we think it’s worth it. Matts bench space costs him, but the guy he’s renting from makes fine guitars – the finest. A symbiosis will naturally occur for Matt in the same way it has for Phil. How do you know if it’s a vocational calling? Well, every time you hear something, anything, relating to the craft, your ears prick up, you stop mid step, twist to the sound and smell and catch sight of some wood and some old tools and you stare for as long as you can. When you don’t get paid for the work and the sweat pours, you still don’t stop. The difference between a professionals and amateurs is that the amatuer does it whether pay comes in or not and nothing is going to stop them. Many professionals are amateurs.