In the morning they arrive and we will be together for nine days. For some it is all new. For some a new career path will begin. We will all be excited and wide eyed. In my mind I will be unlocking doors into the lives of people I may have never met or met only briefly before. By the end of a few days we will be friends with a craft in common.
I’ve taught a few thousand people through this course and most have gone on to be serious about their craft. In some ways our woodworking masterclasses now bridges the gap between me at the bench and students around it. It’s now a well proven way of training people, but the school connects me face to face and it’s here that I am able to feel the pulse of modern woodworkers struggling to find their place in the confused world of mass information.
In the first hour we will destroy the myths and mysteries surrounding sharpening and find out what real sharpness is. I always disliked the sensational term scary sharp because it was after just a gimmick. It never improved on what we already had and had had for centuries. We’ll talk that through tomorrow. The nice thing is I’m not selling processes or sheets of abrasive film, or guides or chisels or whatever else. I’m just sharing as much of what I know as I possibly can in the allotted time of nine days. You’ll be amazed how much that is. You’ll be amazed at how many questions will be answered in the sessions around my bench too. I know we could film it but that gets very complicated.
The course is ever famous these days. When we post the dates in January the whole year’s worth fills in a few days. It’s gratifying for me to know that we could fill the classes ten times over each year but we do what we can. I find it hard to think that back in 1989 I held my first workshop in Kerrville, Texas at the Schreiner University campus. What I taught back then forms the basis of what we still teach now and that’s because what I teach came from my apprenticeship days in the mid 1960s. The neat thing is that it has never grown old. Phil Adams has been with me for over five years now and he learned following the same principles; the principles we will cover these next two weeks. Hannah is currently working on building her own workbench and should be close to done over the next couple of weeks too.
So, here we are, another class that un locks the future to future woodworkers. Some things never grow old but the instructor gets just a little older with each class.