When do you first remember enjoying woodwork?
For some people it is later in life, when there is a stirring within the creative spirit - to embrace a hobby that has so many sensory rewards. The smell of freshly cut camphor laurel, the heady touch of freshly worked huon pine, the sound of shavings coming off the plane.
Timber is so thoroughly organic, that in using it we allow our senses to reach out and experience a small part of what makes up the soul of a tree.
While few of us will ever be in the same league as George Nakashima, we do - like him - allow ourselves to attempt to bring out the innate beauty of that most wonderful of materials - timber.
I would venture to say of most woodworkers, that the woodworking seed was planted within our being when we were very young.
How many of us picked up a hammer because we saw our dad do it?
Did we see our grandpa drilling a hole and longed to try it ourselves? Use a handsaw, and simply want to cut wood like he did?
That is certainly what happened to me. Growing up as a baby-boomer in a suburb of housing commission homes, there was no shortage of role models who were daily working with wood. Parents and grandparents were all part of the can-do generations that were spawned by the Great Depression.
We were always making something - cubby houses, bows and arrows, boxes, toys and what we would have called furniture. Our families were gracious and understanding enough to even allow some of this furniture inside the house.
Now, it seems, it is my turn to be the mentor for a new generation of prospective woodworkers. Who'd have thought that Generation Z-ers who are the classically networked and i-lived generation, would have a yen for something so far out of left field (for them) as woodwork.
And yet there it is. They have discovered the joys of using something substantial, that can be handled, rotated, shaped, assembled and presented as a finished product to be proud of - the work of their hands.
These are the same hands that daily explore virtual reality, where the only thing that is real is the screen in front of their eyes. No wonder their spirit hungers for substance.
I think that George Nakashima would be delighted -
.......................... I know that I am!