There is a unique smell to a workshop. A heady mix of wood, tools, oils and this will only resonate with some people, electricity. The fascination of what everything did kept me amused for hours during half terms, weekends and holidays at home as a child. Garage shelving bowed under the weight of oily cardboard boxes, drip trays and machinery. Most of it, I never did find out where it was from or what its place in the world was.
Enchanting isn’t a word many would describe this place. That would be more reserved for visions of Santa’s grotto, yet gears, clutch plates, rods wrapped up like a fish supper all of lodged in my mind.
This love of a workshop still exists today and the opportunity to be in and around one still makes me smile. I still have no idea what most of the tools do. To see them in the hands of skilled people such as my father does make me smile. People in sheds do wondrous things and I thoroughly enjoy documenting it.
The original skills of a panel beater may seem to have disappeared from the mass produced products today, but in sheds around the world, they still bang on. Although, given the state of this old Jensen, it may be more donor than driver anytime soon…
“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older”
- Abraham Sutzkever
If you would like me to document a project with you, please get in touch.