Women In Woodworking
My husband Ken, is a serious woodworker... he's actually a carpenter, by trade, who just loves spending hours out in the workshop involved in a continual parade of projects.
Well, a couple of years ago (totally depressed and suffering the onset of the 'Big M') I was desperately looking for a way to 'reconnect' and 're-visit' the early days of our marriage... you know... when we could barely be apart for more than the necessary hours of going to work!
It just seemed that I had spent over half of my life busily looking after someone else - husband, kids, PTA, our aging parents - and then, all of a sudden, my husband was spending all of his spare time with a 'mistress'... his woodwork shop!!
MY Mother suggested that I 'find something to occupy myself with'. HIS Mother said 'at least he's home!' AAaarrgh!
One afternoon I was just kicking back relaxing and I happened to catch one of his favorite woodworking sites on the laptop. I was depressed (telling myself that I was bored) so I just started reading. Two hours later I was wondering where the time had gone! I had become so enthralled with the first article, that I clicked on link after link, after link!
Hey! This was just like knitting, or even cooking! There was a set pattern, or recipe, to woodwork! (What is it with these guys? They're terrified of the food processor - so the band saw couldn't be that scary!) I've always knitted for the family, and loved every minute of it. And I have always home cooked for everyone, but this woodworking was beginning to look EXCITING!
I read in an e-zine that the number of women taking up woodwork, made it the fastest growing recreational activity - faster even than the combined adult sport's enrollment figures. I think the term that I read was something like 'the growth of women in woodwork was outstripping their male counterparts'.
It makes sound financial sense! The cost of timber, project associated hardware, basic start-up tools (remember, well looked after, these will last you a lifetime!), and any finishing products that you choose to use on your woodwork project, will always make your finished item much more cost-effective than a store-bought item, and probably of much higher quality. Your project item will last a lifetime, and give you a lifetime's pleasure. It's intrinsic value to you and your family will only increase with time.And, of course, its truest value will be to you... it's creator.
I had never really thought of how creative woodworking could be! But, having become so en-rapt with the articles that I had been reading on Ken's laptop, the creative juices were now beginning to bubble! In my mind's eye, I could see dozens of possibilities - my first grand-daughter just HAD to have a baby cradle - all white and pretty, with a pink quilt and matching pillow, and lots of lace!
That was my first project, and it took ten times the time that it would have taken Ken. But it was my first completed woodworking project - and it was BEAUTIFUL.Several years later, over a quiet summer evening's glass of wine, (sitting on the porch swing, that I had just completed) Ken admitted that he had been as proud of me, as I had been of my first project! You could have fooled me - many a time I had caught him grimacing or frowning at my first steps!
Since then I have finished many projects! I have always used Ken's favorite source of woodworking plans and patterns, and they have now become my own source of woodworking projects.
I'm thinking my next project will be to build a boat. Not a big boat. Just a nice little boat that Ken and I can take out together and enjoy the lake. I have visions of a nice glass of red, lounging back quietly together on a couple of big cushions, watching the ducks come in for their evening roost. Oh, what bliss!