Normally I can reach for my jackplane or favorite tenon saw with my eyes shut. Most of my tools have a well worn patina, but each is sharp and ready to go. That was until Jim Tolpin and I began work on our on-line Design Workshop series “Truths & Tricks”. Evidently a comfortable efficient woodshop does not convert over to a video recording studio without major surgery. Black foamboard covers the windows, a camera tripod hangs upside down from the ceiling joists (to get a birds eye view of the drawing table), lamp stands, umbrellas, extension cords, chalkboards, and I can’t seem to find a stinking thing. Where was that pencil?  It was right here a minute ago. Now that my shop is masquerading as an undercover video studio, I walk down the stairs, take one look and think to myself… the monkeys let the hogs out. Yet, it’s for a good cause, and I’m really excited to see this video course come together.

Jim and I are splitting up the material in this series. I’m covering the “Truths” part of this artisan design language, sharing background and the fundamental ideas and concepts. I’m also shooting drawing exercise sequences and design challenges at the the drawing table. Jim will be tackling the “Tricks” portion of the course, covering practical bench layouts, and guiding students through some simple build challenges. Together we plan on filling the sessions with plenty of hands on examples that will make this come alive for participants. I can’t wait to see this series come together… and get my shop back.


George R. Walker