…You know the rest.

DSC_0174We had a plane take (blast) off yesterday as we closed the week’s work for a UK Holiday Weekend. Penrhyn Castle was brimming with holiday people coming to the beautiful North Wales mountains and seaside and many stayed here at the Castle all day long. DSC_0201We inside the Castle and in between bouts of filming and spreading the good news about our work to visitors, peeled off shavings with the different trial planes we prepped for our research and subsequent filming. The weather was cool but bright with clear blue skies. Just what people need for a few days away.

DSC_0225DSC_0179This week we’ve replaced or repaired chisel handles, on every type of chisel there is for my next book, we’ve restored many bench planes, recut, reshaped and sharpened saw teeth on old saws and tested out new saws from the Sheffield saw makers Thomas Flinn. Each day we have filmed and written updates on our findings and also started preparing for our next series for woodworkingmasterclasses. DSC_0161


Yesterday, as people prepare for Easter egg hunts and parents try to keep up with their youngsters, I found myself snatching time to slip intentionally into those deep pockets of self arresting. In busy work lives this is difficult because someone is buying your time second by second. Snatching reflection becomes very important and I ask myself what it is that really matters to me and possibly others. I mean, here in a world we woodworkers retreat to from the daily onslaughts of our modern life, isn’t it important to make re-creative time worth something no one can buy. Personally I find it ever more consequential to find parallels in my work that remain in the realms of the real yet provide a way to escape the non-skill world of artificiality that seems to me ever increasing. Still, making alone seems always to give me that respite and so I am thankful I can pursue my work in a way I find gives me critical meaning and wellbeing and not only for me but many, many others.

DSC_0185I confess that in any given day, as I work at my bench, I find myself immersed in gradients of unconsciousness as my work gains significance and as I cut and define shapelessness into shape. In this I lose awareness to my periphery and my subconscious loses all reference to my surroundings. I want in essence to compose what I make and all else to become distant and blurry, even the people I am with or who walk into the visitor part of my workshop fade out of focus and my work seems then fully isolated as under a microscopic as I separate the cells of xylem and reform my psyche to make sense in an otherwise insane world. These are rare and treasured spheres, moments immeasurably extended in pockets of creativity when and where time stops for inestimable moments, minutes and hours and ticking clocks cannot measure. Irretrievable mustering of synchrony where absorption defies finance and economy, concern and health, those things around which the world seems destined to destroy. Parents find it in lifting toddling children from grass to sun and a smile in two eyes trusting the newfound height is theirs for a moment. In a child resting in cuddled envelopment in the peace of trust before a world soon to snatch it from them as they grow to transitioning teenage years and a world of adulthood. These spheres are periods when it seems that the whole of creation is waiting to reveal something to us that separates us from all that we measure and calculate and store and save to be away from it in a dimension we never knew existed outside of being a small and innocent child.



  1. Brianj on 19 April 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Many gifts you have Mr Selllers…. How wonderful it is that you have found the outlets to let them shine and so many benefit from it. Happy Easter, God bless you and your family.

  2. Gordon on 20 April 2014 at 3:35 pm


    I know exactly what you are talking about when you concentrate on something while working with your hands, where the world around goes fuzzy and fades away. I have had that experience all my life when reading sometimes or when doing woodworking. It also happens when I watch people do something that I am experiencing and learning from. It happened, for instance, with your scissor-sharpening video . . . your voice as you described what you were doing also created the experience. I heard some years ago that it is a form of self-hypnosis. It’s a lovely, calm feeling, right? Too rare, also, in my opinion.
    All the best on an Easter Sunday.


  3. John Moore on 21 April 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Love the photo of 6 different planes buried in shavings!

  • Jeff D on Listening Up! It’s Important!I'm excited for taste the 3-in-1!
  • Joe on Listening Up! It’s Important!Thanks Paul. This should be an interesting topic. I recall you talking about the sense of feel, sound, and smell when I first started watching your woodworking videos. At first I c…
  • Paul Sellers on Not Good, Not Good!Then I will discontinue our dialogue as we agree to disagree.
  • YrHenSaer on Not Good, Not Good!@Paul Sellers I have no interest in either the book in question or Japanese techniques. I said, plainly, that the tone of the review, a criticism such as the one you wrote of one a…
  • KEVIN NAIRN on Not Good, Not Good!I work as a carpenter and have lots of books on carpentry and joinery. In one of my older books, there's a mistake on a cut roof (a cut roof is a roof where the rafters and other p…
  • Paul Sellers on Not Good, Not Good!I am not altogether sure what you are saying. Tell me this, had I decided to contact the publisher, would he then have stopped selling the book he had little to do with except copy…
  • YrHenSaer on Not Good, Not Good!Regardless of the merits or otherwise of the book in question, I regret to say that this episode, for me, is characterised by an ungracious, ill-mannered dismissal of another perso…