Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sharing the Joy, at the Perth Wood Show.

Last weekend I spent 3 days at the Perth Wood Show. It's an annual event I always like to get to, and have done so for many years. However, this is the first year that I have "hung up my shingle" there to promote the group woodworking activities I run. Of course, this was no static display - I was offering a chance for people to have a go.
That's my space at the Wood Show - before the show opened. It would get busy!
Amid all those displays, demonstrations, and salespeople peddling a huge range of power tools, wood, machinery, gadgets and gizmos - I offered a chance for people, especially kids, to have a go at making stuff.  No screaming routers in my area, just traditional woodworking hand tools and skills.

That's me.... providing coaching on the subtleties of the use of the Coping Saw.
As well as offering "free creative play" (a heap of wood, benches, hammers, nails and saws - make whatever you like, kids!) we offered an opportunity for the bigger kids and adults to make a kitchen salad server from a nice piece of hardwood. Our corner of the Show was a very busy place!

I was fortunate to have my oldest grand daughter, Zoe, assisting me for 2 of the 3 days. She's 11 years old, got some good basic woodworking skills, and has a great manner with people. What an asset! Thanks to Zoe for the great contribution she put in over the weekend. What a star.

Once again, I was too busy to take many pictures. Shame about that! Here's a few...

My trusty assistant, Zoe, at work helping out a little girl.
The "sawing station" had a lot of use. A designated place for carcass saw use by the kids.
Serious concentration during nailing!
Using a spokeshave to shape a spatula.

Zoe sands the finishing touch to a kitchen spatula.
It was a good experience at the Wood Show, an opportunity to promote my woodworking activities to the woodworking public. I talked to a lot of people, and hope to pick up a few more school gigs and other group activity programs out of it.

I also spent a lot of time talking to parents, who wanted to know about the right tool choice for their kids. In a huge pavilion full of machinery, power tools, hand tools and timber - there were not a lot of tools there which are suited to kids. More into about tools for kids can be obtained from my other blog: The Joy of Wood for Kids . Next year I'll do a bit more about this if I return to the show.

The thing that all those exhibitors, retailers and associations don't seem to realise is this:
Unless we pass on our skills and our passion for wood and woodworking to kids, there is no long term future for their businesses, woodworking clubs and the traditional skills of the trade.

Me? I'm on a mission to bring back hand tool skills as life skills. The future of the things we value from the past lies with the young. Time to be handing over to the next generation.
Join me in sharing the joy of wood with the kids in your life...

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant what you are doing!
    Allow me to congratulate you!
    You also deserve a huge THANK YOU!