Sawdust In Seven Dials

10 . 04 . 16

​Last Wednesday James took on the drive from Cornwall up to London, pushing his way through West London traffic at rush hour to arrive at Finisterre’s flagship store on Earlham Street in Seven Dials, right in the thick of Covent garden in the West End, with just minutes to spare before he was due to talk in front of eighty people there. He’d been invited up by our friends at Finisterre to run an in-store “make-your-own” handplane workshop, and to take part in their Thursday night speaker series, which soon became a run of two nights when to our delight the Thursday event sold out within 24 hours.

We were delighted at the reception that we received from everybody who came along on both nights and had some really great conversations after each of the talks, with James fielding some really in-depth questions on surfboard design theory, sustainability and what it means to make your own surfboard.

On Thursday afternoon the front of the store had been transformed ready to become a workshop on Friday, with a makeshift tool wall and trestle tables for work benches, so that when they opened for business on Friday at 10am James could welcome the first cohort of makers for the day. The first workshop session ran from 10am-2pm, with seven people joining James to craft their own bodysurfing handplanes, with the second group of eight covering the store and street outside with sawdust from 4-8pm. Makers had the choice of our four stock templates to choose from, with some of them tweaking outlines or combining elements of two different templates, and by the end of the day there were 15 new handplanes waiting for their first coat of oil and trip to the beach.

We’d like to thank Finisterre’s London team for inviting us along and for allowing us to turn their store into a workshop for a day. We hope that we might be able to repeat this experience again at some point in the future and spread a little more sawdust around the streets of the capital, sharing the joy of making with London-based surfers.

We’ve already received a couple of requests for us to hold more of our workshop courses in Central London, so watch this space for more.

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