What might help you understand our relocation all the more is that I have a five-year plan unfolding. I want to continue providing the no-frills and froufrou how-to woodworking for woodworkers we’ve done for years. Furniture making, woodworking and wood turning have always been my great passion and of course that also includes carpentry and bench joinery too. It’s comprehensive hand work that went missing for a season and took quite a hammering over the decades. I think we’ve changed that by leaps and bounds forward.
Putting together the team we have has been as fascinating as the woodworking itself. Young women and men who skilfully develop their individual spheres of creativity settled into place seamlessly. The recent series on building the workbench has established the down-to-earth workbench everyone needed to get seriously into hand tools. Seeing pictures coming in of complete and part completed benches is my great reward.
In the coming months and years we want to expand our horizons. My work so far has been to simply develop my ideas and give cut lists and drawings as PDFs to work from. How I get to that point is still a mystery to most so the work ahead will be to demystify the processes I go through. Encouraging this new generation that engages everyone regardless of their background, age etc to start doing it themselves to make every item they might need or want in the average home is a quest we see working. I’ll be designing all the pieces from scratch starting with sketches and working through to the detailed working drawings and you will be there right with me at the drawing board and in the sketching stages too. We’ll be visiting the house, each empty room, measuring the walls and floor spaces and looking at window light, wall configuration and things that affect design. Working alongside those you’ve come to know through our current and previous work, the ones doing the filming and editing, planning, accounting, research and development, writing and such, I see a much clearer pathway for the incredible world of of woodworking worldwide.
As we generate the ideas you will see a massive range of pieces that would include everything you need for a home. Ultimately we will build one piece at a time and show how the design and build evolved. We’ll discuss it as we feel after it, change direction and evolve a design from a prototype to a final piece. In other words, what now happens behind the scenes because of time constraints will become visible to all. From bathroom stools and mirrored wall cabinets to kids stacking bunk beds and adult beds we’ll be walking through every step and stage from beginning to end. In other words, in making a whole houseful of furniture over a period of five or so years, and then other woodwork alongside that’s not really furniture but essential or decorative to our homes, you will grow into a living education of woodworkers. The types of pieces you make as a mum and dad, grandparent will be pieces you’ll love to give to your children and grandchildren, parents and grandparents. I want an alternative to buying from the big box outlet stores on the edge of town where you have no idea what the true costs in terms of waste and pollution that takes place really is. Ships crossing the oceans with unneeded cargoes to feed consumerism is an unquantified cost as is the 18 wheeler from coast to coast. I know all the more that young people are now looking to consider the experience of developing woodworking skills as they make. They want to replace what they bought in desperation when they first got together with something they created. It’s going to be a definitive training program, one based on my personal experience of apprenticeship, designing and making and then long term teaching on three continents too. Imagine a package like that my friends!
Our making stunning modern designs and then those considered the best of the past too we’ll be investigating the home they are likely to occupy. The work we do in design will be scaleable and adaptable. Up until now, we have been developing pieces to get you started to provide some good and basic teaching and training. Our ever popular woodworkingmasterclasses.com has indeed been a success and from that success we want to take even more steps to make permanent what we began. That alone led to interactive association of woodworkers we might consider our alumni that would never have happened before. We are one of the very few entities that did it without sullying our efforts with sponsored advertising on any of our sites. There is more yet to come too. Read on. Whether you are currently 18 or 60, 70 or in your mid-life years, I envisage three generations getting together once or twice a week to build things alongside one another. Some might take a holiday in a barn in France to make something very lovely with a cousin, with two cousins and an uncle and an aunt. Think viennoiserie with freshly made coffee together and then working for a few hours to build an ash or oak coffee table. Of course, there could be Krispy Kremes too. Think also individuals inviting friends into the sheds on a Saturday morning.
The recent move enables us to develop a more efficient strategy on the one hand and that within a controlled environment unhampered by any and all invasion from elsewhere. You will recall our experiment with the garage and our survey to determine what most woodworkers used for woodworking. One key essential was my book, Essential Woodworking Hand Tools, which was a great hit with woodworkers. Our recent woodworking workbench build series has further progressed in the latest on YouTube and Woodworking Masterclasses. This is about our equipping and strengthening new and seasoned woodworkers in their search for real and skilful woodworking. With new workbenches coming from hand tools on garage floors and sheds around the world we think we are right on track. If you’ve made a workbench with your own hands and your basic hand tools, then it is likely you will be able to join us and thousands like you to make furniture and woodwork for your own home and for your children and grandchildren, parents and grandparents. Instead of buying cheapo non-heritage pieces to become flat pack assemblers with allen keys, screwdrivers and wrenches, you will be working on new designs with design longevity and structural strengths that will become heritage pieces.
We did move two weekends ago, lock, stock and barrel. We are yet again in a small and cosy space with a temporary set up, but the builders moved into our space downstairs this week to put in a mezzanine floor that in an instant now covers and insulates our studio and workshop office area from the rest of the world but then reaches to the whole world too. From there, along tubes, wires and wifi too we will reach the world of woodworkers and you too will be able to connect with your fellow woodworkers everywhere at anytime.
The gang will be working together there so that will mean about 7-10 of us making hundreds of films, writing blogs and books and how-to’s too. I will be writing as usual as this has become my second craft alongside photography and drawing and design.
What do you think—good idea?