I haven’t mentioned this fact on the blog because I assumed his classes would sell out in an instant. Derek’s classes in the U.K. and Germany fill up very quickly. But I was surprised last week to hear there are still spaces in these classes.
Derek is a great teacher – incredibly knowledgeable, skilled and experienced. I’ve worked with him during several teaching assignments in the U.K. and he is top-notch. What is most notable (for me) is how Derek manages to squeeze some great craftsmanship from woodworkers of all skill-levels.
Here are details on the two classes. If you have the time and inclination this summer, I promise that you will not be disappointed.
On July 15-19, Derek is teaching a class in building a half-size English tool chest. These are gorgeous little chests, and the class teaches you a ton about hand-cut joinery (especially dovetails). Derek has taught this class all over Europe and the results are impressive.
Then, on July 20-21, Derek teaches a short course on building a deluxe Moxon vise. Derek’s version includes a benchtop behind the rear jaw that makes transferring the shape of the tailboard to the pinboard an easy operation. Plus, you get to cut some very cool dovetails.
I’ve known Derek for many years – as a competitor and a compatriart. He’s an A+ woodworker who came up from the professional ranks in the UK. He is incredibly skilled, funny (my daughters adore him) and really knows how to teach.
Really, honestly and truly, take a class from him if you can.
During the last few years I’ve sought out images of vernacular stick chairs from places other than Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Unsurprisingly, stick chairs can usually be found in any place where there was hardship and a strong desire to sit upright.
These chairs are likely user-made. And they are almost always dismissed by furniture historians as “crude,” “rudimentary” or “rough.”
This week I hit the jackpot and found some nice Canadian stick chairs in “The Furniture of Old Ontario” by Philip Shackleton (Macmillan of Canada, 1973). Most of the book celebrates the glossy, curvy, carve-y stuff that makes me feel dead inside. But there are several pages of really good stick chairs.
The captions on the photos mostly discuss how roughly the chairs were built. Or they deliver a backhand compliment such as “Despite the crude qualities of the chair, its elm seat has been shaped somewhat in the saddle tradition.”
Oh well, thanks for the photos. (And thanks to John Porritt – I first found this book in his chair library.)