I’ve always been interested in woodwork but didn’t quite know where to start. I spent hours reading tutorials and books and watching YouTube videos but it just wouldn’t click. Then I stumbled across Woodwork for Women at the library, and didn’t I hit the jackpot! Everything made so much sense, I felt that it was written especially for me and I knew I wanted to learn from Patt. I’ve now completed the first beginner’s course and the amount of knowledge I have gained in such a short time is amazing! Patt is the most wonderful and kind teacher, her woodworking skills are matched by her passion and I am so grateful to have found such a mentor. I started off this course hoping to pick up a few tips, and I’ve left feeling like I’ve joined a secret society of skilled and empowered woodworking women! Do yourself a favour and book a course.
Patt assured us that using the power tools was no more dangerous than using a kitchen appliance such as an electric blender. That may be so but it was certainly a good deal more exciting and, as the name suggests, much more empowering! The simple action of pulling down the drop saw and seeing it rip cleanly through the wood was extremely satisfying and a welcome relief from the dexterity required when trying to master the hand tools.
For someone who has spent most of her working life thinking in two dimensions and using her head, not her hands, the woodwork course was a challenge. “Simple” things like positioning the try-square the right way round or holding the marking gauge became highly complicated operations in my hands. But I loved the way that our little projects grew every day. I longed for perfection and was so pleasantly surprised when (thanks to the putty and sanding!), all the cracks and bumps were ironed out and I could proudly take home my almost perfect piece. It really did look like a professional job!
I never expected that I would enjoy it as much as I did or that I would feel so in control, at peace, and I felt like I really understood what you were saying to me even though I had never heard these things before. I am generally nervous attempting new things, I ask lots of questions to be sure I do it right and I hold back. But I did not feel like i needed to wait for anyone, I just felt like I knew and I just went and did it… so unusual for me. My husband said that he hasn’t seen me that excited for a long time!! I couldn’t stop talking about it! especially how much I loved taking the time with the hand tools and the feel of the blunt hammer gently hitting my finger as I confidently tapped in the nails!
The workshop exceeded my expectations. Its worded right – what you have built into it is the way that women work. We gather, we talk, we exchange – there is different aspects – visual etc.
It takes into consideration how a woman can come to a topic which had been taboo, scary at a long arm distance. It touches part of you thats incomplete. We knew something about a drill and a joint but I will now look totally differently.
Make you feel capable. They seem really small things but I now ‘own’ myself more with this new knowledge. The steps built slowly on a beautiful foundation – Im not left feeling overwhelmed. Reclamation of my hands! My hands are doing this! It feels like my hands have been firmly placed in my body. The tools held such a fear but now I can hold them confidently, fearlessly. Woodwork can be emotional. That was met in the workshop.
My next step:
I want to look at my tools! Id like a power saw and to organise my space.
I’m still reeling with happiness.
You have an incredible gift for teaching. You brought us knowledge of woodwork mixed in with Patt zen wisdom. It was so nice to have everything slowed down to a fully absorbable rate. I feel so much more enabled to build without assistance and I’m just hungry to learn more.
Thank you for everything.
I will always remember your kind and generous gift of knowledge, combined with the mental and physical space to develop my skills – all the while proving to myself that yes, I can actually do this! I found this course to be surprisingly empowering, and the best part was being able to bring that knowledge home to my own space, leading to the kind of growth we all like – the kind that sticks! I really felt very safe to ask any questions (even those I perceived as quite silly!) and your answers were always given with grace, relevance, and above all, encouragement! I was also amazed at how much information you covered, yet somehow magically, I never felt rushed 🙂