Last week a mailshot landed in my inbox from Classic Hand Tools about a crowdsourced funding drive Auriou Tool Works are undertaking. I was fortunate to visit Auriou back in 2016, and it is a truly special place steeped in over a century and a half of dedication to craftsmanship. Michel Auriou, the 4th generation of his family to work at the forge, has an encyclopedic knowledge of his craft, and a real passion for building on the Auriou legacy. It would be a real tragedy if Auriou were unable to continue trading
The crowdfunding site can be found here, and the newsletter from Classic Hand Tools is reproduced below (with kind permission of CHT). If you want to invest in a woodworking institution, and help ensure the survival of an incredibly important family business, then click through to read more.
Auriou Toolworks is just 162 years old. It survived the 2008 financial crash through assistance from 2 altruistically inclined investors who worked hard to keep this historic forge going when the proverbial hit the pan several years ago.The order book for Auriou tools has always been full this last decade with great demand from North America and the UK in particular. However, retiring skilled workers, worn out spring hammers, tooling and other essential equipment plus lack of credible government funded training schemes for apprentices have always constantly undermined the drive to get the forge on an even keel.Funds are now needed for capital investment to keep the company going.The ownership fully returned to Michel Auriou last summer and he is seeking help through crowd funding to help secure the future of toolmaking at Forge de Saint Juery (home of Auriou Toolworks).Here is the full story. https://www.tudigo.co/don/sauvons-le-savoir-faire-auriouWe are happy to direct potential funders to this cause as at Classic Hand Tools, we do believe that Forge de Saint Juery is alone in its forging and rasp/riffler techniques which makes them appreciated by hobbyist and professional woodworkers worldwide.Commercially, as their UK retailer, we would like to see them continue for decades to come. Of greater concern to the wider woodworking world would be the loss to the hand tool making fraternity should Auriou tools disappear from the marketplace for ever despite their healthy order book.As a matter of disclosure Classic Hand Tools Ltd does not (since September 2017) have any share capital in Forge de Saint Juery – home of Auriou Toolworks. Consequently we cannot comment on the financial well being of the company but can confirm we have recently received 2 large stock orders and have large orders placed with Forge de St Juery for delivery this year.Michel Auriou is unaware of the posting of this newsletter. We feel his crowd funding initiative deserves as wider audience as possible. Any correspondence can be directed to Michel at firstname.lastname@example.org