I am so pleased to write that yesterday saw the first of hopefully many practical sessions teaching the joys of furniture designing and making, in association with the THIS GIRL MAKES initiative.

At 1pm Lynn Jones, tutor at Rycotewood and former head of the furniture MA at Bucks University, and I met at the Pegasus theatre in Cowley (Oxford) with little idea of what to expect. We were soon joined by Adrienne Law, a fellow second year student at Rycotewood Furniture Centre, and together we prepared the workshop space for the twelve participants who had bought tickets for the THIS GIRL MAKES premier event. We lay out a selection of tools and wooden components onto the workbenches, which bore a bright history of set building with spray paint outlines and splashes of colour decorating its surface.

The group’s age ranged from 7 to 65 years old, with few who had previous experience of woodwork and the related tools and machinery, however all members were enthusiastic and had an interest in craft. It was great to see the range of generations coming together to learn and help each other create their own crafted object. With five participants being under the age of 10 years old, it was refreshing to see that most were accompanied by their mums, meaning the workshop had a majority of female participants. This was great to see, as it proves that woodwork and furniture are accessible crafts that can be enjoyed by anyone who is willing to give it a try!

Having received promising feedback from all those involved, such as, “I am very proud to have something beautiful to bring home, I am excited to start a new project at home now” and “this was perfect, we had a wonderful time”; I am reassured that there will be a future in more of the THIS GIRL MAKES practical ­­workshops!