In 2018 our plans for continued training must be more efficient so that we can continue unfettered support for woodworkers around the world. We’ve actually been planning for new output for about three years, so as the first piece of the puzzle slid directly into place these last couple weeks, our move evoked a lot of excitement around the office and workshop. I can’t say that it’s been glitch-free, but we’ve become all the more stronger and resilient in our resolve to reach the whole world of woodworkers searching for skills. In the process of leaving the USA, living in North Wales, and now, having returned to my own country of England, we’ve learned that my passion for woodworking has driven an outreach that’s continually gaining a momentum of its own. Setting our course has meant altering our bearings, albeit through mainly minor adjustments and shifts. We’ve continually reinvested as a direct result of your trust and investment and support in our work. If you want to skip the blog here just go to the bottom and watch.
Our embarkation and now docking just about on the banks of the river Thames here in Abingdon means we are now able to put down deeper roots to make permanent what always seemed like a never-ending journey. I still have not settled on an actual home as yet, but the workshop building is the integral home of our vision for woodworkers around the world. Though I am personally not at all trained in Information Technology, IT has changed my work for the greater good of woodworkers everywhere. It’s the vehicle through which I reach many multiple thousands of people each day. Lone woodworkers in forests and woodlands, mountains and overlooking the seas around the world are sharing in this unique sphere of real woodworking called hand tool woodworking. It’s so amazing!
Though we recently put out a video about our parting from our friends at the Sylva Wood Centre, I cannot help but say that I am more excited than on that first day when I made my first workbench video series in my back garden. Even then, before this latest move, I always felt I was on a journey to here. I didn’t have the coordinates for every step, but I did have encouraging words that supported me to this point. Now that we have our building we can customise the work in the most creative ways possible.
By now I am sure it is apparent that the quality of our work needed its permanent home; we can’t film in my real home workshop, a brick garage, because the only positioning for my workbench is facing a brick wall with the apron butted up tight against it. Our tenure at the different venues over the past eleven-year span has been both interesting and stimulating. At Sylva, our output increased due to the high demand for the real woodworking we promote to others that you and those like you were seeking. We have grown our staff to double, and we need yet two more to join us. In the different venues, we seemed always to face major and minor interruptions of one kind or another. As strong proponents for the real skill of handwork it seemed incongruous to meet the ever pervasive noise from dust extractors, power sanders, routing equipment, table saws and all the rest, and then, overhead and outdoors, the RAF and army helicopters had their flight path too. Add to that buses with engines running, cattle mooing and sirens we just had to do something. It may seem a small thing to some, and then perhaps unreal for us to create a filming set replicating my garage, but in reality, this will indeed be my new and real creative workspace; a dedicated studio workshop from now until my five-year plan is completed. In the middle of a long shoot, an unplanned sound of any kind can throw off your train of thought and distract our viewers. Because of what I am in the process of making, for continuity and such, some video takes can be impossible to regain if that continuity is broken. If you are a routine presenter following a scripted storyline or even reading it from a teleprompt, it’s simple enough. When you are making and telling as you work, it’s a whole different story.