Paul taking a sabbatical from teaching in the US? Questions?

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    Joseph Sellers

    Paul just posted this on his blog:

    I thought I would anticipate any questions anyone might have and start a thread on this. Feel free to ask questions. We are shaking up how we do things but we are just hoping to make everything better. After this current stint of US classes Paul will be focusing on projects closer to home for at least 12 months.


    Sometimes I’m questioning myself when Paul sleeps, really. He writes thouthtfull articles. Ubiquitously he give presential coures in UK and EEUU simultaniously, and gift us with his extraordinarie and pacefull broadcast woodworking master classes every week, and sometimes he show us his inspirational workshop notebook.

    Sideways, he helps me whith my yet poor oral english tongue 😉

    I don’t miss the poetic moment when Paul carries and hangs his recent made clock at home, and a lot of apparently small moments on his teaching method, beyond the woodworking craft art.

    This meritory man can take his sabbatical time when he likes. Sure, I don’t forget anything he teach me, and he teach me a lot.

    I want also to thank you Joseph for your work, and trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

    PD. Please, excuse my, still, poor english writing.

    With love, best regards from Catalonia.


    Will there be any plans to train other instructors to teach Pauls methods in the USA. Either at the Maplewood Center for Common Craft, or perhaps at the John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina?

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA


    paul said the tool chest is coming soon. will it be next


    I was delighted to read that the tool chest was coming. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now.

    Paul’s article makes it sound as if the WWMC endeavor will continue without break, correct?

    Paul’s teaching remains first rate, but I have noticed that he does appear visibly tired, lower in energy, and less philosophic perhaps in some of the most recent videos. Hopefully a “sabbatical” can allow him a bit more rest and time to himself.

    -Scott Los Angeles

    Paul Sellers

    Hi everyone,
    Lot’s to talk about really. Thought it best to let everyone know the sabbatical is a change and not a preretirement rest. I have made no plans to withdraw from the pressures of working. I feel that I have spent almost quarter of a decade continuously involved in teaching and training in the US and the UK, Europe etc, that is far from over, in fact it may well increase as we take on more help from people to progress our vision for real woodworking as a campaign of change.
    We will be keeping you posted on the different happenings, primarily because we need your continued support and inspiring contributions. We are limiting so we can expand. We certainly are not looking only to maintain or even reduce, but to increase so we can keep our craft alive and vibrant.
    My health has never been a problem, though I confess a little artritis in my right knee from time to time. I find myself ever conscious of our changing world and the smallness we all feel to make things happen never mind create change. There are many hundredds of people like me that feel what I am talking about. I like the idea that we have contributed to changes in the world we are most involved in and that of course is working with wood.
    I feel much more relaxed behind the cameras than when I first started. Now I can just be myself when the film crew comes over and we get together to teach on masterclasses. I think that that has been an important change for me. Much better than in the early days. Paying it forward has become something our team always had the vision for and now it’s really happening.
    Magazines and catalogs listen to woodworkers more these days than they did in the early 60-90’s and that’s a positive step. Now we must target the devastation caused by educationalists and politicians. Not so easy I know,but I will talk about that later. They really blew it big time. Whether they will ever face the failures and admit it is doubtful. I am not talking about dedicated teachers here, I am talking about educational admin politics and of course the nation’s politicians who we trusted to have the best interests of the people at heart, for some naive reason.

    Joseph Sellers


    That is partly why we are planning this training programme in the Autumn. I don’t think there are enough really good craftsmen who have the experience to teach. We are going to work to change that. Hopefully some of them will start to teach. It will be a long road though as we will not have anyone leading classes without at least a few years experience. We need people who are woodworkers first rather than teachers or journalists who take up woodworking.

    Yes, we are planning on doing the toolbox next but we may try to squeeze in a smaller project for those who are not quite ready for the larger scale projects.


    Hi jose selling my English is a bit weak, that said I think it has to move and after making coffee table needed a project in which we can move the table that we did, that does not mean that there are two projects simultaneously, ie, one easier and one for people that spend time on this and need to advance learning. this reviewer??


    Hi Paul, Joseph, guys,
    Just trying to think clearly about this, and separate out my thoughts about Paul and his mission from my own feelings…..
    Firstly, I would agree with another member who said that Paul is an excellent and inspirational teacher, and that he gets my backing to arrange his life and his energy anyway he chooses. He and Joseph are good thinkers and strategists, it seems to me, so I trust their planning.
    For my part, having done most of the courses on offer, I am wondering how I develop within the School. I know there was talk last year of a woodworkers’ get-together at the Castle, perhaps every first Saturday in the month or something like that. This would help to develop the community, which I value, as well as people’s craft and skills. Is this still on the cards?
    Regards, Mick

    Joseph Sellers

    Hi @micka,

    I believe you have misunderstood. Paul is just taking a break from teaching in the US. He will be spending even more time in the Castle workshop here in the UK.


    We already have two projects running, a dovetail caddy and the coffee table. However, the coffee table has been the priority as far as editing time.

    Are you suggesting something else?


    Hi Joseph,
    Thanks for the lightning quick response. I don’t believe I have misunderstood. But I have done two of the old three day courses (the box and the shelf unit) and also the month long course last October/November, so I am wondering i)how to play a part in the development of the ‘local guild of woodworkers’, (so to speak) and ii)how to extend my own skills. Put simply, I want to keep on learning and growing as a woodworker, and the School offers me the best way to do that. Indeed, without the School and the courses you have taught me, I would be nowhere. So I’m wondering, “What’s next on the adventure?” A regular drop-in Saturday would meet my needs; might this happen?
    Best wishes,


    Hopefully some of them will start to teach. It will be a long road though as we will not have anyone leading classes without at least a few years experience.

    @admin @paul-sellers

    You may want to consider using advanced students for beginner classes. When I was learning to play the bagpipes, I had several excellent classes where we had a advanced student the first three days and then the master piper for the last day or two.

    Just some thoughts, no hard feelings if you just ignore them.

    Robin HC from Richmond VA

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA

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