An Emerging Woodworking School

dsc_0141Of Course We’re Not New to This

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.

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Sam apprenticed with me last year and made a wide range of pieces for his CV.

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.

Benches are ready fir the first intake of students here in England.
Benches are ready fir the first intake of students here in England.

 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.

Students in North Wales came from Germany, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and the USA too. Travel never seemed to be an issue but now it's all the easier.
Students in North Wales came from Germany, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and the USA too. Travel never seemed to be an issue but now it’s all the easier.

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?

Cost is not always an issue. We have paved the way for many a dozen people to gain access to their craft.
Cost is not always an issue. We have paved the way for many a dozen people to gain access to their craft.

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.

12 comments on “An Emerging Woodworking School

  1. “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. ”

    – I was wondering if you were ever coming back to teach in the USA. This is good news for us that missed you the first time around!

    Respectfully,
    (from across the pond)

    John

    • Another vote from me, too. I was excited to find information on the New Legacy New York school online, but that was dated and no longer valid. I wouldn’t want to miss a stateside visit by Paul, and travel abroad is out of the picture for me for the near future. No complaints about the videos, blog and book, though! My plate is happily full. Thank you, Paul & co. All the best with your upcoming classes and future endeavours at home and abroad.

  2. I’m very happy for you Paul. I learned quite a bit from your videos alone, but also your blogs, email and so on. You took the time to answer my email even though at times I might have seemed insincere or joking about too much, but you’ve very much inspired me on many fronts.
    I must confess to having a bit of a love affair with some of my powered machinery, but the planes and chisels and such are never far away and seldom grow mold or rust.
    I wish I could travel to England, but that isn’t happening any time soon, but if I do find a way there your school is on the itinerary if for no other reason than to shake your hand and say thanks.

  3. I took a class when you where in Wales. Maybe it is cultural, but I did not mind the travel at all. We flew into Manchester and took the train to Bangor. To be honest, my eyes where glued to the beautiful country side, the ocean and the old buildings. The only thing that inconvenienced me was the lack of funds in my wallet to see the rest of the UK (which one day I hope my wife and I can do).

  4. Having been lucky enough to get a place on the upcoming course I’m very much looking forward to it – but I have to say that making a few free bench spaces available to those who would normally be excluded on cost grounds is a wonderful gesture.

    I’m sure that as a youngster I would have benefited from the course greatly, but wouldn’t have been able to stretch to the cost; so even if the fee for those paying is effectively subsidising the free places, I’m all for it.

    BTW I don’t think there is actually a link to the application form though (the final paragraph contains plain text, with no apparently clickable link).

  5. “Though I will indeed be teaching in other countries as well”

    Dear Santa, I have been mostly good this year. Please let Ireland be one of those countries.
    😀

    Mr Sellers, I would just like to say thank you for passing on your skills and knowledge through your YouTube channel, woodworking masterclasses website and your books.

    20 years ago when I started to develop an interest in woodworking; every magazine, book, and TV show was pointing towards needing lots of machinery and a large workshop to house all the machines in order to be able to do anything related to woodwork. I bought some cheap machinery and was always extremely frustrated because I couldn’t make anything that looked even partially acceptable.

    Then, a couple of years ago I stumbled across your YouTube channel. My eyes were opened. Here was someone showing that it was possible to do quality work with minimal tools and almost zero use of electricity.

    I would hope someday to meet you in person so I could shake your hand (and also ask you to autograph my copy of one of your books).

  6. Hi Paul, i would like also to say hy from Ireland ( although i am originally from Hyde not far from your hometown of Stockport. Love watching your videos, have watched the one on dovetails countless times, just love to see the pins and tails emerge. keep up the great work and i wish you and all your staff and lucky students the best in the coming weeks. regards Karl

  7. Paul there are so many areas of the world you would be welcomed. I’m sure the logistics would make you head spin. If plans ever develop to come to Ontario, Canada, I would happily do what I can to help your team coordinate in whatever way I could.
    BrianJ

  8. Paul,

    Your virtual fraternity would welcome you all over the world. Including your Australian followers. Those of us who can’t travel for numerous reasons, wait in hope that you may come down to holiday and teach.

    Maybe during the next Ashes series?

    Cheers,
    Nathan

  9. Super stuff Paul.
    What a following you have amassed. We’ll deserved.
    A true servant to the profession and particularly to us who aspire.
    All the best.

    Mike
    Cornwall NY

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