by Andrew Hunter
Happy New Year!
This past November’s in-person Kez event in Santa Cruz reminded me how important connecting with my community is. The pandemic was hard. One of the biggest challenges with it was the isolation. This year I’ve made a resolution to connect with more people in the Kezurou-kai community. For a guy who spends most of his time alone in his shop, even the occasional meet up with other woodworkers has a significant positive effect on my mental health. Being together in Santa Cruz refilled my tanks. I left with even more enthusiasm for what I’m doing than I did going in. It is not easy being so passionate about something that most people don’t even know about. It’s good to know you’re not alone, that there are other people out there who are just as weird.
As I returned home to the east coast, I realized I don’t want this connection to the community to end. In fact, I want it to grow and expand. With Suzanne Walton, of Rowan Woodwork in Kingston NY, we created a once a month mini-kez hangout. On the first Friday of every month we get together after work at her shop, order some pizzas, crack some brews and geek out about hand tools. There is of course sharpening and hand planing, but most important there are conversations and connections. Those new to the tools can see them in action for the first time and those with more experience have the opportunity to share their experiences with others.
The Kezurou-kai movement is rooted in this idea of getting together and making shavings. We at Kez USA would like to help facilitate more of these mini-kez events to happen across the country. We encourage you to reach out in your community, shake the bushes a little to see who else is out there.
Andrew Hunter – Kezurou-kai USA Board Member