It’s a year since the pandemic and we are still doing what we do plus much more.
When I have closed up the shop through the years I have always had the greatest pleasure in reflecting on the day’s work and worth as I dim the lights and lock the door as I reach for my bike. These last few weeks I wander a little further between the workbenches to look through the work of the others I am surrounded by and distanced from. John and Hannah have been in most days and Jack will be in again shortly after he works out his transport and accommodation issues to stay and keep others safe.
So far none of us at work have suffered the COVID disease directly by being infected but some have only been an inch from it. In some ways, the work surrounding me is very obvious in the made things resting on, beside and beneath the benches, but behind the literal scenes, I have to tell you how much I enjoyed the videography in the recent new episodes on our starting out with the sellershome.com first piece, the rocking chair. Here is the prototype in space as a placeholder, alongside the sofa.
The first two pieces are clearly on their way but not yet ready to set up. I already have a third, fourth and fifth piece in the sketchpad and on their way as I type. I want to thank everyone who videoed the work we do for their insights and their creativity in making what we make. I think those of you that are members of woodworkingmasterclasses will enjoy this new beginning as we progress the series on building what seems a complex furniture piece as a kick-off to the new season under the banner of sellers home. So many of you who have watched episode two have commented on the new standards of expert videography. If you are a subscriber to WWMC you will have caught the introduction video already. I thought it was just lovely and lovingly put together. If your long-term goal is to become an experienced furniture maker and you have a passion for skilful handwork to enhance your outcome, you can distance apprentice with me throughout the upcoming years and experience the past nine years of content too. It’s no small thing! You can start and stop membership whenever you want to but it will be the best tool investment you will ever make!
Will, Natalie and Izzy all stand behind the cameras to film my efforts to preserve my craft for the generations yet to come. I have 56 years of daily furniture making and woodworking experience that drove me to go beyond the limits of my own sphere of creativity to start teaching one-on-one 30 years ago part-time. Establishing three woodworking schools trained me to train others as did apprenticing apprentices and mentoring them as they became craftsmen and now a craftswoman (Hannah, my first woman to apprentice) in their own right. Will and Natalie are the ket videographers and editors for the work I do making.
Izzy keeps taking on more and more to make the content accessible and to keep us up to date. She worked through making the projects in commonwoodworking tutorials and the foundation course to gain first-hand knowledge on what it felt like to be a raw beginner without any previous woodworking experience. Her questions for me were the questions we then knew that new woodworkers would be asking and she answered the questions before they were asked. Brilliant! It works! This alone so validates our commonwoodworking offering and so many agree.
All three of those I mention now work mostly from home because they are intent on kerbing the virus as much as possible. John, Hannah and Jack need a space and place to be creative and it is easy where we are to do that. There are a couple of unique needs that validate my decision to open the doors to them so that’s what makes things so perfect. Truth is that most of us cannot do what we do without coming into the workshop.
Another person key to everything we do is Mark who is another who handles many things in any given day. Bookkeeping is a main task but then he does so much more like editing my drawings for PDFs, uploading stuff I don’t even know about, reviewing and shipping out the books on a daily basis (no small task if you look at what he shipped out between the 2nd December 2020 and January 2021).
All of this is what makes everything tick. Your support over the past ten years has made everything so worthwhile. Ten years ago I wondered what we could achieve. I look forward evermore to the next ten and perhaps even more!
Jack’s back in the saddle and finishing off his rocking chair too. He arrived this morning so bags of company again!