I’d always longed to try woodworking, so Jeff bought me a Introduction to Woodworking course at Perth Wood School for my birthday years ago. I made a very simple document/jewellery box and loved it. So, of course, I jumped in head first and decided to follow it up with a very complicated Jarrah coffee table, complete with two soft-close drawers and a black resin inlay. I’m rather proud of that table, which now occupies centre stage in my lounge room.
So after a six year long hiatus in which time I had two kids and was mired in the exhausting, selfless routine of babies and toddlers, I’m now glimpsing a light at the end of the tunnel where there’s opportunity to do something for myself again. I thought I’d tip toe back into woodworking and signed up for a short course at Mundaring Sharing (an adult learning centre just around the corner from me). I decided to make a potato storage box for my new pantry from some Jarrah boards left over from the building of our deck. It’s an easy, achievable project through which I hope to refresh my skills and get back in the groove.
Tony, my woodworking teacher, is an eccentric, old school guy intent on teaching me the “proper way” to do things, which I’m only too happy to learn. Next week he’s teaching me how to make dovetail joints to join the sides of my box together. I find making stuff with my hands so enjoyable and rewarding. Perhaps it’s the flipside to my creativity: writing and building stuff.
If only I’d had someone to teach me this when I was younger. My Dad, bless him, didn’t have a practical bone in his body, and while Mum is pretty practical, she never learnt anything from her Dad either (because she was “just a girl”) so there wasn’t any knowledge to pass down. What I have learnt has come from trial and error (probably the best way) and my Permaculture Certificate III course, which covered a bunch of skills like bricklaying, welding and building a rammed earth wall.
I need someone to take me under their wing and I need more time…if only. However, with all the big plans we have for Edgefield, there will be plenty of opportunity for trial and error.