The Sounds of Woodworking
by John Beaver
I just returned from visiting the International Wood Culture Society's "World Wood Day" event in Long Beach, California. I went to promote the CWA as well as visit with the many friends I knew that were participating. It is incredible to see so many talented wood artists from all around the world, all in one space and all volunteering their time. There was a section dedicated to lathe work, one for furniture building, one for scroll saw work, and a huge group of carvers often with 3 people working on one piece simultaneously.
What struck me as most interesting was the sound produced by over 50 woodworkers plying their trade in the same room. From the tap-tap-tap of mallets hitting chisels, to the chipping sounds from the lathes, to the occasional whir of a power tool, to the rhythmic sound of a scroll saw, to the quiet passing of the many human powered lathes and saws, there was a beautiful symphonic cacophony to the room. Next time you are looking at the beautiful silence of a piece in front of you, close your eyes and imagine the sounds it took to create that piece. These sounds are the soul of the piece and part of the experience that keeps makers making.