It’s been almost a year since we held any course workshops proper—mostly because of the BIG moves we’ve made to finally arrive home to my native England. We’ve also been progressing the way we reach out to upcoming woodworkers seeking their own skilled workmanship and that tugs evermore at our time too. Our choosing video work for outreach and training added many years of research, personal growth in other areas unfamiliar to us and then in-house training and development. My working and living in the USA and the encouragement Americans always gave me through the years of my life there have been wonderful. I will always be grateful for the Can-do attitude I learned there, but more than that even, the support that enabled me to go even beyond what I ever could imagine.
I still receive emails from those who bought a king-size bed or a family dining table back in the late 80s and early 90s. Each week someone tells me of this or that woodworking course they came to too in the transitional years when I shifted from making only to teaching and making and then mostly writing, training, teaching and research. This week people wrote me to tell me of the courses where they made one of my Craftsman-style rocking chairs in 2000, or perhaps a workbench or a walnut bookshelf. These things cause me to ponder how much we rely on one another to create and learn from one another to enrich societies that would otherwise be beyond our personal and individual reach. I hear all the more of how people’s lives are being changed by what we do so thank you no matter where you are on the journey for all you have given to me.
In three weeks time we have the first classes we’ve ever taught here in England, which seems funny being as I am English. Of course it is just a subtle difference to some, but England is my homeland and then the USA has been very much a homeland too, purely because I was so nurtured by my American friends through two and half decades. I hope never to forget what I received there.
Several hundred people signed up for notification of future classes here and within an hour (actually 38 minutes) the first course filled. We posted a second to take up the extra overspill and that filled as quickly too, so it was good to see such interest in our work. Though I will indeed be teaching in other countries as well, and I am not at all done teaching in the USA, I must confess a sense of fulfillment in my homecoming. Another unique issue is that flying into Heathrow means almost no extra travel. Heathrow is an hour’s drive max or less to Oxford city and the school is 10-20 minutes from there, depending on traffic. Oh, and the railway station is just 3 miles from the school in Didcot. How easy is all that.
We’ve waited some time for this to take place; years really. Two weeks ago the school tools came out of storage and now is the true bench test of how things will work. Of course the teaching is well tried, tested and proven. So here comes a new phase in the life of Paul Sellers.
Can’t afford a course?
I mean genuinely of course. For most of my woodworking classes I allocate a number of free bench spaces alongside paying attendees for those who want to progress their woodworking skills but finances prevents them. If you feel you qualify for a space in an upcoming workshop you can apply for a course. Here is the link to an application form. The details of all applicants remains private between the woodworking school and the individual applying. Additional costs such as travel and accommodations are not covered.