A translation of the one that’s already up there in Welsh from a few months ago. I intend to do this more often, bilingualy and not always on the same subject in both languages. I did mention on twitter that I’d written a short story loosely based on woodworking which I was excited about, but having reread the whole thing I’ll save you the bother. So here goes..
The workshop’s old. Not as old as 1904 because my grandfather (the wheelwright who’s holding the axe in the above image) hasn’t built it yet. Sometime in the next few years he built the shed that still stands to this day, on a dirt floor where the trailer stand between the two trees in the photo. The dirt floor isn’t there anymore; my dad put down railway sleepers sometime in the 60s or 70s.
What’s more interesting is the natural busyness that’s to be seen and everyone with his job in a totally self sufficient community, and I’m not romanticising, (well maybe a little) but I’m of the opinion that villages in the countryside aren’t meant to be ‘quite little places’. The almshouses in the background are holiday homes, like many of the old cottages in the village and the nearby area, beacuse someone took their oppurtunity to exploit the natural beauty and the quiet that’s symptomatic of a failed economy. Anyway.. I’ve bought a bandsaw and thickness planer… positive noise pollution?
Because of the new purchase, I’ve been spending the past days clearing and sorting around 80+ years of mess to make room. Finding all kinds of tools and other stuff that I honestly don’t have a clue what they are. Some things have totally lost their function – some of my grandfather’s old wheelwright tools for example, but I find it hard to throw them away. No point in being sentimental when you’re sitting on a ton of scrap I guess, did they think like this back in 1904? Or did they simply fix, replace and carry on?
Of course, I’m not missing the fact that it’s a good story for me as a brand and a businness, sentimentalism or not. The oak I use for one off projects are full of history – beams hundreds of years old from the Conwy valley that lend the character of the ages to the finished product.
It’s amazing how many people from other countries contact me through facebook about the pictures of work I put up. It’s a pretty obvious conclusion but it’s a wild thing to think that I create something in an old old workshop in the wilds of the country with the same methods and often the same exact hand tools my grandfather used as a wheelwright but speaking to people in New York and Norway about the work. I feel like I’m on the cusp between two worlds and two ages, and it’s nice to experience that.