"It was a windy and wild day by the coast when we loaded the van with all of our tools and half of the workshop. We headed North, well, as North as we could from Cornwall, and homed in on the Bristol store, where we were going to be running the first stop of our Workshop on Wheels tour. We had prepared a handful of handplane blanks and spent the evening with a crew of five making some bodysurfing toys and plenty of sawdust in the front of the Finisterre store on Park Street in the City centre. It's always intriguing to see the reaction and motivation for city dwellers to engage with us in making and who spend most weekends and evenings planning escapes to the coast. Ultimately it all comes back to a connection to the ocean, which is something we all bonded over.
The store staff were excited to have us and brilliant hosts and got involved in some making too, so the excitement and anticipation grew through the evening as discussions turned to where the handplanes would glide along their first few waves.
Once we'd taken people through the cutting, rasping, shaping and sanding phases, they were all stamped and signed off before we packed down and hit the road late at night with our sights set on London.
We headed east and planned a daytime workshop on Earlham street on a Saturday, which meant rising early to set up our workshop downstairs before the official opening of the store and the inevitable influx of feet from the bustling streets of Covent Garden. It was great for us to be able to set up our own space downstairs; it was like a small retreat from the busy-ness and pace of London life and the people that joined us definitely connected to the refreshing sense of head-space and the pause that making offered them. With the physical focus and the buzz of excitement for what they were making, everyone left with a big smile on their face and thanks to the store staff, bellies full of pizza.