In some ways i am used to working on my own. Even with a crowd around me I tend to isolate. Working with machines automatically isolates you. Especially is this so if you adopt the safety protocols machine woodworking always demands. But there is another kind of isolating that most if not all miss. When…

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A limb torn from a tree stem by weight and wind tells a story science does not tell. The formation of cells encircling the rooted continuity of fibrous strands of growth becomes evidence enough to convince me of the amazing attributes of nature in wood. I record the evidence in my brain, of course, but…

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I think it’s more the strange thing to work still at an actual craft at my age. By that, I mean full time as a maker when the retirement years come and go. I don’t know any others that do, or, perhaps more accurately, I have yet to meet any that do. The internet gives…

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The lockdown and such has given me less time than ever but I did get through the added projects and never missed a step in keeping all of the regular work totally on track. That’s thanks to everyone I share my life with at work. Thanks, Joseph, Izzy, Natalie, Mark and Will, though he had…

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Independents in micro-businesses are few and far between and often hard to discover, despite the internet’s ever-increasing web of enterprises. The backbone of British industry is made up of small, independent people striving to retain a measure of individualism, independence and entrepreneurialism in their lives. Statistics from 2019 show that in Britain there were 5.82…

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. . . the Little Big Things It should come as no surprise that skill often takes most of us a developmental period to establish it. When we already have skills in one area, connected to or not to a new one, skill development can take some just a fraction of the amount of time…

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I rarely abandon a project because something goes wrong. In most cases, I can make a fix disappear into the wood itself. My screens are almost done and ready for the rice paper. The only time where I refuse a glued repair is where any failure might result in a danger. I once saw a…

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I try to imagine life without making, but something inside me tells me that that is perhaps as strange a thought to me as it is to those who might find it impossible to think of their making something to sell or use, whether to sell for self-support or not. I can’t even think what…

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My isolation has been both good and not so good. I often think that we have stopped listening and stopped most of the time; to the point that many if not most cannot stand the unsilence of silence. Because of course there is no such thing as silence, except for the totally deaf, it is…

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When you have just made a window frame and the stile has eight mortises in it, it reflects much work. George and I had been making the frame together for a little over a week and when we were moving it off the bench it was too heavy for my skinny frame and I slipped…

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  • Marty on MisnomersI'll be 61 this month and it astonishes me just how much the world of work has changed over the years. I started out as a commercial artist, but that occupation soon gave way to co…
  • Marty on Working AloneNot long ago the Mrs. and myself put an old metal cart in front of the house out by the curb with a sign: Free Stuff We were able to get rid of quite a bit of items we no longer ha…
  • Adrian Gamble on Working AlonePaul not only are you a bright star in the passion of crafting wood to your will, you have a wonderful philosophical view of the world around you. Please keep on inspiring others a…
  • Wayne Whalen on Working AloneLoneliness is mans greatest fear. Even as he grows older and looks for solitude he can't overcome loneliness. He goes into his workshop and he plays his music and has his dog to ta…
  • Bram on Why Suggest Economy Tools?I have a newish disston that I made a new handle for and for some reason thought it would be fine to hand grind a full length taper on with a vernier, some old stones and sandpaper…
  • Bill Webb on Branching outThe song is "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, a multi-talented Canadian.
  • Peter Edkins on Working AloneThe simple truth is that there is a significant difference between 'being alone' and 'loneliness' 'Loneliness' is a consciousness of being solitary, against ones desires or needs.…