"I'm amazed that I made (with lots of help) a piece of large, friendly, usable furniture in just one day. Straight from the woods - no waiting for, or ordering of materials, thus giving a direct connection with the woods and trees. I was also amazed at/seduced by the pure white wood being revealed by stripping the willow bark. Keith and Eoin are fab instructors, very patient, knowledgeable and, very fortunately, 100 steps ahead of us students.
I feel that I come to life when I do your workshops, feel a great sense of freedom. It's always difficult when you start working with new materials/tools, you feel a bit stupid/awkward/ out of your comfort zone, but I still feel free from what I do normally, and generally everyone in the class is in the same boat, in a learning situation.
Normally I draw what I want to see made and/or use stock materials and expect the object to 'be' that drawing. But being in a situation where you have to react quickly, work with unknown materials, learn to use what's immediately available can be alarming initially but it makes you more resourceful, gives you a good understanding of the materials and bridges the gap between us and our ancestors. There are no 'down the line' implications to what I make there, no fussy clients or employers to please. It is done for pure enjoyment and for the making process. I'm sure my not so distant, itinerant, ancestors must have made things like this, they were pretty resourceful folk.
I will be back to make something else, maybe a shaving horse next time ! "