Reflections on the Apprenticeship

“It might be that I have been listening to the M&T podcast and felt that I already knew Mike and Joshua, but this apprenticeship felt like a real-life gathering from day one! In the safe and encouraging atmosphere you have created – it felt easy to take on the challenges you offered us. 

It has been a lot of work, but the rewards are so much bigger. I have during these eight weeks thrown myself into planing, ripping and sawing, sharpening and joinery – things I’ve planned/wanted/dreamed of for years. All the tools have been waiting, even a workshop space… but the habit has been missing.

I now feel I can keep going. As I have been working with the assignments, ideas have started popping up, and even though I am a bit disappointed with the results of my efforts (the things I make does not look like I imagined...) I now have internalised the idea that the answer is practice!...

In my opinion the format was perfect: the elaborate instruction videos, the PDFs and the weekly office hours which were a bit more relaxed and often made me laugh and smile. The forums were also great, although I did not have time every week to go through what was there. I am sure I missed some gems. I would not hesitate to recommend this apprenticeship program, but I don’t know so many people that share this passion with me. That is also a big advantage with this format: even though we are few and far apart, we can meet and share thoughts and ideas and pictures and tips.”

- Christine

“Each of the past eight weeks I have learnt a new skill, while recognizing all the while how much more I have to learn. (I have been thinking the best use for week 9 might be to start over again with sharpening week!). But the biggest win has been to develop the confidence to try new things, partly based on these emerging skills but also based on the mindset – that Josh and Mike do so well to develop – that these are all possible. Not easy, but within reach given the right approach and with practice. 

It is a real strength of the program that the direct instruction is enough to get started and then you learn for yourself from the activities – such as building some practice mortise and tenons, working along with Joined, and realizing you are on your way to building a table. I started to look at pieces of furniture with fresh eyes, asking myself how they were put together. And the forum is a great way to learn from others and share efforts and mistakes with a supportive group.” 


“What absolutely sticks from the M&T apprenticeship is that is not weird to be selective about where to apply precision in my projects and where not. When working with hand tools it is not necessary to adhere to the standards and tolerances of industrial machine woodworking. As an amateur you’ve got the freedom to develop your own set of standards and work to the tolerances you can live with. But what better place to look for inspiration than the era in which wood was mostly worked by hand.... The most valuable thing I gained from this program is that hand tool only woodworking is a satisfying, healthy and viable option for an 21st century home woodworker.”


You can sign up for the summer term here. There are, for the time being, a few slots left.


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