Monday, 8 October 2018

New Workshops updates

Hey.. hope you are all well, it's been a little while..

I've had a few people take up my workshops over the last few months and they're going really well. It's more of what you've learned and had hands on experience doing, not really what you physically leave with.

I want people to be able to go home and carry on woodworking, do more marking out, more dovetails, more practising. I want what I wanted years ago. The help, there.. at the right time to show me what to do. Which part first ?.. what would you do ? How do I get over trimming a little too much off this (it happens a few times at first) What if I do this ?

My One-to-one workshop is structured enough to do the important things.. but flexible enough to go a little 'off-piste' too. The Japanese way of starting the day (or workshop) with sharpening is a great place to start, it straight away gets you into how the edge tools work, what is important and what can be quite relaxed and also gives me the feedback on how the day is going to go. For me, I learn how the student is, and how they are going to get through each part of the process on that day. So it really sets us both up.

One of the workshops saw Jay bring in his grandfathers Stanley no4 plane, it had seen better days but wasn't too far away from us giving it a slight restoration. Jay got on with sharpening the iron, while I worked on the slightly rusted sole. Anyhow, we got it done.. it was used that day, for planing and squaring up the timber that later, Jay jointed... how great is that. So its really good to be able to bring back some of these tools that get handed down, or picked up from markets or flea markets, yard sales or car boots, and that's a great bit of recycling too. Not just that, these old tools at normal lower prices can be so much better than new tools, when you really get into it (I suppose I am a little into it) then the tools can be worth a lot more cleaned up than new high end tools from top manufacturers not just in ££'s. But in the quality of the steel, the flatness of a plane sole, the keen edge of a laminated iron or chisel.. So it's all good, I get to share and students get to learn.. but we both learn really.

Now.... bang up to date.. 

We have done three #WoodworkingSocial nights. Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6pm.. Its taken me so long to put this into practice. Its too easy to get these things wrong... and that's the last thing that I want to do.

Firstly its about the exchange of knowledge... I wanted to not only teach, but share facts, experiences and it be a great learning environment. That's not going to happen if people are paying for just their place in the workshop. It needs to be flexible, so if I wanted to show something that I think they could be interested in, or learn from, they knew that it wasn't really going to eat into their time... and it would be like me demonstrating something. Which could be a whole other lesson, but here it is.. in front of you now.. so just relax and go with it. To do woodworking as a hobby is to relax and enjoy the process, it takes practice and the more you see great things happening around you, the more this will inspire you to be more creative.

Secondly... this crazy life we live in now.. it needed to be flexible.. over two nights... you can do one night or the other, that way if you missed one for some reason, you wouldn't lose a night in that month, just dip into the other nights class... 

But then what time do we start.. people work all sorts of hours and then the drive to my workshop can take... oh forever. So here it is, 2 hours workshop and a three hour window to do the woodwork... and if things are going really well... well another few minutes just to not leave something half done. That's a great feeling and good for creativity to get to a certain point and be able to pack up, knowing that next time I can carry on from this point.. no stress, enjoy the process.

That's it for now.. i've got a couple of images to share on here at some point.

I'd welcome comments and feedback is always good.

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All the best