I have some exciting news to share. This summer the first annual Maine Japanese Woodworking Festival will be held at my family’s “new” home in Mercer, Maine.
Each year the festival will have a unifying theme, and what better theme for this one as “beginners mind.” It is the concept that one approaches a practice, task or ritual with the open, empty mind of the beginner, ready to receive new knowledge or insight, regardless of one’s prior, perhaps extensive, experience.
This festival represents many new beginnings. The event is beginning anew, continuing a tradition started by my friend and co-organizer Yann Giguère of Mokuchi Woodworking. In addition, my family and I are settling in a new state, in a new (to us) home and I’m beginning my woodworking journey again as I close a busy chapter and settle in to the natural rhythms of country life in an old farm house.
This year the festival will feature a full weekend of instruction, sharing and learning (plus a little last minute prep on Friday) guest workshops include:
- Yann Giguère: Japanese Centerline Joinery Layout
- Brian Holcombe: Shoji in the Modern Shop
- Jim Blauvelt: Kanna Tuning from First Principles
- Jeff Bearce: Modern Japanese Timber Framing
There will also be a traditional log splitting and hewing demonstration, small structure raising and of course a good-natured competition to see who can cut the thinnest shaving with a Japanese hand plane. There will be something for all and everyone is welcome, beginners and non-woodworkers alike.
Be sure to check out the links to the full event details below. Registration opens today and is discounted 10% for early birds through the end of March. Can’t wait to see you at the “shaving meeting” or in Japanese, “kezurou-kai!”
Owner, Never Stop Building