In a culture where most men now punch keyboards rather than swing an axe, write with a pen or dig a ditch, and where many men are dubbed big kids with Tonka trucks and owning hand tools they themselves call “new toys”, it’s sometimes hard to consider my work serious in crafting a living. This…

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Sometimes, when I am traveling and away from home, I realise how much value there is in having a creative space in which to work and create and how intrinsic this is and always has been to my wellbeing. This is a physical, emotional, psychological condition governed as much by a sense of belonging than…

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I’m thankful for the work I do. I have been making the hope chest for a few days now and on Saturday I have a two-day workshop so I will postpone some of the work until next week. Sharing my workspace has become increasingly important as I grow older and whether it’s teaching, apprenticing or…

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I’ve neglected this aspect for a few weeks while I have been away. And now, getting ready for the wedding, I have many important things that pull at the minutes of each day. Being creative means engaging in the everyday of life, yet seeing life beyond the mundane. I think I spend much of my…

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Notes from my journal For some time I have talked fairly extensively about the creative sphere of work and the creative workspace. This is not so much ethos and philosophy, but how or where we working craftsmen develop work as practicing artisans. I in no want to or intend to differentiate between men and women,…

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Imagine if you will a man gifted with his hands and having no ability to design. What piques your sphere of creativity as you work? Is it the wood or your workspace, the influence of other designs or perhaps the tools you use? I picked up a copy of Fine Woodworking recently. I laughed at…

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Culture was once a sustainable environment people lived in that defined how they lived, what they did, what they ate, grew, harvested, cooked and much more. It defined where they lived, how they spoke, worked and every detail of life within the cultural sphere of creativity they were a part of. The culture shifted only…

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Extending my creative workspace We all have important phases in our lives. Landmarks if you will. I have had them since the beginning of my work life. My first day in the Hillgate, Stockport workshop was one of them. My life is quite different now to then. Instead of being a boy I am an…

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When I’m in full creative mode my work seems to carry me in forward momentum to the neglect of things around me. Some say its focussed attention that blinds us to other tasks that also need taking care of. Multi tasking is seen as a positive trait now attributed to half the population, which isn’t…

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Today was extremely busy at the Hand Tool School in Penrhyn Castle and I was able to share my Creative Workspace with dozens of people interested in hand tool woodworking and woodworking classes and seriously considering learning the traditional skills we use in our everyday work.   When I turned from totally designing furniture pieces…

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  • Michael Muschal on MisnomersPaul, I discovered you very recently while surfing the web to started in woodworking. Some decades ago I had tried building a few projects with power tools, but was more afraid of…
  • Paul Keane on Working AloneI must say your website is excellent with lots of information on how to work with and improve my wood working skills. Due to the lockdown I have build a workbench, I have been look…
  • Dan on Branching outSteve, was that the one on display inside a ranger station in California? If so, I have seen that as well. Definitely worth a look to anybody interested. Keep well, everybody.
  • Gary on Working AloneYou are not alone when you go home to your partner at the end of each day. The same person you saw when you awoke this-morning. They're even with you in many ways when you're apart…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10Is it "cheap" plates or 'less expensive' or 'low cost' plates? There is a difference here. Mylow cost plates in all gritt=s are holding up well after almost four months to date. My…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10I might suggest something different here. I think that with the larger diamonds to top angular points fracture more readily and in a sense, create a sort of plateaued top which is…
  • Richard C on Edge Sharpening Under £10with the cheap plates, I find that yes, they wear very quickly initially, but then 'settle'. another thing I've found is that it's possible to scratch the grit off completely if yo…