I often get asked if I take on apprentices. On the whole I am willing to share my skills so long as those that come to learn can find a way to make it work so that they are not a net drain on my business, which actually isn’t easy. Crispin will be working with me throughout February, he is on a placement from a training scheme with the Prices Trust who cover all his costs. He has also already picked up a good range of skills so is able to be helpful from day one.
The trick with this kind of set up is open communication and making sure that we both have realistic expectations at the outset. Obviously Crispin would love me to spend a month teaching him everything I know and I would love him to spend a month doing useful semiskilled work around the workshop so that I can be more productive. With good communication hopefully we will find a balance that suits us both. Day 1 I showed him how to sharpen a wood carving knife really well on Japanese waterstones and how I cut up large trees to make bowls. He cut me a pile of bowl blanks and we did a load of firewood together. Later this week he will sit in on my first spoon carving course of the year. I think it will be a productive month.