I just flew back from China … and boy, are my arms – OK, even I can’t go for that goofy joke. But I am indeed back home and happy to be in the soon-to-be-frozen north. My tool travels to Asia were eye-opening and truly gave me an opportunity to understand the dynamics behind the shift of manufacture – of all sorts, not just woodworking tools – to the East. I will be putting those observations and thoughts on this complicated subject into an article that will appear in the January/February issue of our print magazine. My travel blog will remain on the web for those of you who have not had the chance to check it out. (The videos will remain online as well – so far no calls from Hollywood – frankly, I’m baffled.)
Almost any travel experience tends to broaden a person’s views and is an opportunity for growth and enlightenment. My most salient memory from my Asian travels is the warmth and hospitality of the people I met. Both my tool making hosts (American and Chinese) as well as the people I met “on the street.” It is somehow uplifting to find that the human bond is close at hand, even if you are clearly an odd-looking foreigner and don’t know a word of the language.
I am glad to be home with the people that I love, but I am very glad to have gone – to have made friends where I never expected them to be.
– Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal