Saturday, 16 March 2013

It's hard saying no.

It's hard to believe we are nearly a quarter the way through the year already. It's been a busy year so far with running the shop, setting up and working in the new workshop and opening the cottage for business. Then there's the courses.

                 Some freshly milled Otways Blackwood and Hard Maple bands for the box class

Next weekend we run our first official Shaker Oval Box making class. I've been making them for years now and I still enjoy it as much as the first box I made with John Wilson in Michigan. It's not a difficult process, it's anything but difficult. It's just a case of presenting it in a logical & enjoyable format.

The issue we've been facing lately however is trying to accommodate those who want to take part in our courses. Although we suggest to book early we are still finding that on occasion we are having to turn down people or defer them to a future course.  It's an unfortunate circumstance, so for some classes now we are creating standby lists in the event that we have a cancellation. 

Small consolation, but Lisa and I both feel that it is as important to stick to our business plan which allows for 2-3 courses per month with limited numbers, as well as allowing time for making products for our shop. 

It ensures also that we don't follow down the path of just increasing the course numbers until we reach critical mass, jamming in people like sardines and turning what should be a fantastic learning experience into an uncomfortable and hectic mess. I've experienced it first hand and it's something I wont have a part in again.

                                Fiddleback or curly figured Blackwood in our No.2 box bands.

So while it's hard to say no, think of it as us saying 'yes' - to retaining the quality and integrity that we think sets our business apart from some others. 


  1. Couldn't agree more on your philosphy re. class numbers. I too have experienced it first hand and it is not only unenjoyable but unconducive to learning. It is in fact bad teaching.
    Well done to you and Lisa.