Well, it's finally gone out! It seemed to me like a long week, waiting for the first in the series of Mastercrafts with Monty Don to air on Friday on BBC2. I hadn't seen the final cut and so had butterflies the size of large bats come 9.00! Thankfully, the editors were kind to us and I think they did a fantastic job of distilling six weeks' worth of footage into something that was both informative and representative of some of the goings-on in the Woodland Workshop.
For those that missed the green woodworking episode it can be seen on iPlayer.
Of course a lot had to be edited out but that was inevitable and the feedback that we've had has been very encouraging and positive. I am told that 2.7 million people tuned in to watch it, which sounds like a very large number to me. Phew ..!
It is somewhat ironic for somebody who tries to encourage people to slow down, relax and enjoy being creative to find myself doing very long hours in the office over the weekend responding to kind comments and taking bookings for this year's courses. However, I'm not complaining really.
Going by the last 48 hours it is likely that we are going to need to announce some additional dates for the courses that are rapidly filling-up. The April Pole Lathe course has just one more place so if you have your heart set on April now would be a good time to book! We always inform our newsletter subscribers first about any new dates or deals, so if you would like to keep one step ahead of the crowd do please sign up for this (along with Twitter and Facebook if they're your your thing too).
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I am a fan of Monty Don anyway, but I was very pleased with the way he presented the Woodland Workshop and particularly with his very genuine passion for the subject of woodworking, craftsmanship and particularly green woodworking. Monty carves bowls using the same techniques both he and I learned from Paul Caton many years ago, and bowl carving is our most popular course by a long way.
My only slight personal disappointment was that bowl carving was not shown in the final cut as Tom, Charlie and Sarah all made beautiful bowls as part of their training. However, I do understand that there's no way everything we did and learned could possibly have been included.
I'm looking forward to watching this week's episode on thatching - same time and place - and this week I'll have a much better chance of being able to relax and enjoy it.
There have been lots of fantastic responses to the show - here are a few newspaper reviews and an item that I wrote for the British Crafts blog.
British Crafts (blog)