Growth Rings

Growth Rings

My children really love the workshop. Maybe it’s the sense of activity, even when it’s quiet and still, there is tangible evidence of creation, materials to explore, mess to be made, wood scraps to be moved around, brooms to build sawdust castles and forklifts to be sat in…or maybe it’s just the trusty cookie jar in the staff kitchen. Whatever it is, I love that they have this exposure to a craftspersons life.

As a kid I was fascinated by my grandfather’s and father’s woodwork sheds. I spent a lot of time hanging out in there exploring hand tools, nailing and gluing bits together – I built my first go-cart, cricket bat and skateboard there. Between my grandfather and father I was taught the foundations and joy of woodworking – I still use inherited tools from grandad every day at the workshop.

I’m told Grandad and I shared many common traits such as our sense of humour, love of wood, playing guitar and also our ‘short finger’. When I was 24 I had an accident with the circular saw that left me with half a left pointer finger. Mum said grandad would be turning in his grave as it was the same age he lost his left pointer on the same tool. Years later I was given a guitar that grandad had made, inside the case was a home-made ‘finger extension’ from a bit of waterpipe. It fit me perfectly.

Now with my own children, I am re-living these joys as I watch my 4 year old delight in building, gluing and creating in the shed. He is a natural with the hand tools and it freaks my wife out to step in and see him using a hand saw – very well…supervised of course.

Image below shows some of Grandad’s tools I inherited.