It’s hard to imagine the lure of wood and it’s working to be so strong as to amass so many individuals in one place and yet that’s what happened yesterday again at The Woodworking Shows show in Springfield, MA. It’s a good venue all around; easy in and out and adequate facilities. For me there seems a good mix of vendors who are willing to share their knowledge and skills with individuals and groups and working wood is so diverse there is a lot to share from any particular aspect of the craft. There are some major changes I see since my early days of the show back in the 90’s. Many if the really big boys are gone now, which I think personally is an improvement. Today it’s more an eclectic offering or gathering of smaller vendors with a lot more to offer than way back.
Dedicated woodworkers cluster around the bench for Q&A time
People like Peach Tree bring a massive range of hard-to-find stuff ranging from special clamps and glues to foam brushes, storage dispensers, how-to manuals and much more. I could spend two or three hours just looking through all of their products.
Then there are demonstrations by people like Roland Johnson from Fine Woodworking spilling the beans on starting woodworking and how to set up the three essential machines to any woodshop. Jim Heavey is well respected in his field too. He presents well and has an interesting take on wood selection, personalising your work and embellishing in general.
Demo’s are going really well
I have been tackling the Real Woodworking Campaign and trying to help people find the balance in woodworking and rediscover the value of hand work and hand tool techniques that really work. It’s rewarding to see people respond and live up to their hopes as aspiring woodworkers. We have been presenting the Book and DVD series as well as the New Legacy School of Woodworking in Greenwich, New York and people seem very excited that the Campaign is now established here in the USA as viable training facility backed by an ethos of true craftsmanship.
My schedule of Masterclasses
It’s important to check the times of the various demonstrations throughout the show so that you can arrange your schedule accordingly.
In a few days I return to the UK for my next workshop at Penrhyn Castle and I am looking forward to that. The January class is full and the February class is beginning to fill too. I am thankful for the opportunities to reinvest in future generations both here in the USA and the UK in this way. I want to get on with my next book again as soon as possible. It looks as though my plane book could be out by June and the next in my Artisan course a couple of months after that.
I look forward to the warmer UK weather, although I have enjoyed fields filled with Canadian geese and watching the American nuthatches on the bird feeders too.