The First Day of School

After months and months of planning and content creating, Mike and I held our breath as the first day of the Mortise & Tenon Apprenticeship Program opened this morning. The email went out notifying apprentices of the Week One Launch, and we let out a sigh of relief when they started in on the videos.

Several apprentices began wading into the reading material weeks ago. Photo courtesy: Guy E. 

This is a great group of folks. We have people from all over the US as well as Canada, UK, Norway, and a few in Australia. Over the past month, they’ve all been sharing stories of how they got into hand-tool woodworking (including one guy’s dramatic story about a tornado nearly killing him with a tree that he eventually decided to shape into something beautiful), as well as their past projects (benches, chairs, beds) and current shop setups (loads of cool tools!!!). Everyone seems so pumped to dive into the weekly coursework. The sense of camaraderie and group energy is high. We can’t wait to see these weeks unfold with shavings flying. 

Several of the apprentices have decided to take on the additional Journeyman Challenge in which they must build five entire projects on top of their regular coursework and reading assignments. These folks are serious! We wish them the best and will be there to help along the way.

Apprentices have been having a blast posing with their Apprenticeship T-shirts. Photo courtesy: Guy E.

When we first conceived of this program format, we had only a seed of an idea. We knew we wanted to build an experience that required commitment and fostered camaraderie, but we are ecstatic to see how the million pieces have fallen into place and how magical the connections have been already.

Week One is all about sharpening, and these folks have some work ahead of them. Besides support in the forum, our first live stream session with them will be on Wednesday morning to more fully address their questions.

We are stoked to see these people working to cultivate more craft in their lives – people from all walks of life and all levels of experience. This diversity is exactly what we were hoping to see. Their commitment and openness to each other is an inspiration, especially in divisive days like these. We need more opportunities to build bridges with one another, and craft has always proven to be a fruitful way to do that. We raise our glass to you, friends.

Here’s to keen edges and wispy shavings.

– Joshua


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