A little help


Mark Baker

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I have mentioned before that I owe a great deal to many people who helped me when starting my ventures in woodworking. From the people on the firm that I started with for my apprenticeship; those that helped me when I was teaching; the many who helped when I was in manufacturing and those who have supported me when I went in to publishing. I think it is easy to forget we have had much support, both directly and indirectly as we train and develop. Support comes from all manner of places. Some of the support will be direct where people help to train and guide and then there is the indirect and no less important kind of people encouraging and being there as a listening ear or providing a bit of a nudge or a reality check when we need it. I know that I would not be doing what I do now or be where I am no if not for all that support.

That leads me to a comment about the support for turners and woodworkers. We know that of all the woodworking disciplines. Turners and carvers have the most wide spread club network as far as physical locations. Then the other aspects of woodworkers are on a sliding scale of being catered for club-wise from there. In addition to the physical clubs that meet in a given location, there are many online communities of people. These online communities are not defined by "physical space", other than a website location and enable people from all over the world to share ideas and offer support.

I mention once again the "buddy" system as a good thing for both online and also the physical clubs as something that has worked well in clubs that run such systems. It is simple, all people and those that ask for specific help or support are allocated a "buddy" who will be there to help and guide them. It isn"t rocket science, but from the people who contact me and say that they find difficulty in getting help, I wonder if a more structured approach of providing support to people isn"t something to do as a matter of course, rather than an ad hoc process of waiting until people ask. You know that many will not do this, usually as a result of shyness or not wanting to feel stupid, but silently pray for someone to talk to, ask questions of or just to talk about life in general.

I leave it to you to ponder this one and see what can be done in your own club or online community.

Have fun,


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