Happy Birthday Paul!

Happy Birthday Paul!

This is Joseph, Paul’s son, and I am here to ask you all to join me in wishing him a very happy 74th birthday! We had a low-key celebration at work yesterday for him and have a further family celebration planned for this weekend. Despite his 74 years of age my dad is fit as…

Knifewalls

Knifewalls

It’s only a knife, one with no attractive qualities beyond its inexpensive price and availability. It’s one of the cheapest to be found on any market and as far as functionality goes you cannot beat it no matter what you pay for such a working knife. But would an ebony or a rosewood handle offer…

In the Beginning

In the Beginning

I was indeed on my own and I felt it. The isolation of being different and living your beliefs is by its very nature usually, mostly, isolating. People, others, don’t feel like you do. Not really. It’s just a job. Nothing more. You work for pay and not for craft and yet I see craft…

Educating Lazy Owners  . . .

Educating Lazy Owners . . .

. . . or more likely those whose lives are simply super-busy ones. Owning handmade furniture is not to just buy the piece we make but to educate owners as to the best way to treat it when it arrives so that they own it well. Our work is not mass-made for masses to own…

Finding Yourself

Finding Yourself

I just read a book written by someone trying to establish a sense of belonging. Throughout the pages, the writer strove to establish the reality of being isolated in communities by the communities in which the writer was “born and bred.” There was a cruelness to it as is mostly the case with bigotry and…

You Never Know

You Never Know

Assumptions often mislead us; our own and others. In a world more and more devoid of crafting artisans, men and women making to live by, working as I have and in some measure still do, it seems logical that, as with my using the term new-genre woodworkers, we see emerging a micro-mass of new-genre artisans…

Remarkable Invention

Remarkable Invention

As I walk through the streets of Oxford, before the lunchtime food providers open their doors, I am always fascinated by the lines of upturned exposure of the undersides of chairs and stools used for cafe seating lining the windows. Things like this, along with art of every type, bookshops too, always stop me mid-stride….

Saddle’s Still Warm

Saddle’s Still Warm

That’s to say I am doing well, great, better than I thought I would be by now, my hands have been fixed by the surgeon and staff at Pulvertaft Hand Centre and so I thank them and thank you for all of the support and well-wishing over the past few weeks. The Dupuytren’s contracture on…

Handling More

Handling More

It’s my seventh day since my hand surgery and the advice sheet from the Pulvertaft Hand Cebtre in Derby and Burton NHS Hospital said, ‘Plan to avoid activities which involve strong grip for one to two weeks after the procedure as the hand [s] may be a little tender. However, you will not do yourself…

Being Real With Each Other

Being Real With Each Other

I wrote recently on beech wood and spoke of what I might see and describe as more soulless methods of making in the sense and mix of it giving very little if any sensory feedback. It wasn’t to open a conversation so much as to try to explain why we hand-tool woodworkers handle our materials…