Review: Introduction to Woodwork
at Make. Liverpool
Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith
Make. Liverpool have a series of woodworking classes available to people at all ability levels. The workshops are vibrant and uncensored introductions to woodworking, with artists working busily around the building, and Art in Liverpool were treated to a class last month to see Make. from a new angle.
I’ve been in the offices and written about several studio residents at the North Docks warehouse space before, but never had the chance to get my hands dirty. It’s been quite some time since I last stood in front of a band saw, building an A-Frame for a mid-term exhibition at university [the A-Frame was more an Asymmetric-Frame when I was done with it], so it was a real joy to be in a workshop so inviting and open to exploration.
The class, led by Keith Matthews, whose own skills extend far beyond building wine-racks out of old pallets, was led from start to finish in the huge warehouse workshop, filled with tools donated by members of the public through Make’s Tooldrive campaign last year. Keith is a greenwood carver by trade, and also runs greenwood carving sessions at Make, which I think may be a treat to myself later in the year.
The course was laid out to cater for beginners, but even as someone with experience of using the tools the entire day had me feeling creative, playing with the design and trying my best to think outside the box [and escape without a bloody nose] when remembering how to use the belt sander.
The end result was a wine-rack that might not exactly fit the décor in most kitchens (below), but I’ve only got myself to blame for that – feeling sorry for the odd bits of wood and not wanting to leave them out. Whether or not you’re a beginner it’s absolutely worth spending a day at one of these classes for the sheer thrill of being in a workshop like that, and I’d go back in heart beat.