Most of the Woodworking Shows I’ve attended through the past three decades have been 98% selling more and more stuff no one really needs to people who buy it with hopes that what they buy will suddenly make them highly capable woodworkers. Often what taken place is not increases in knowledge skill and empowerment but a general malaise and confusion but sadly it’s often where the feeding frenzy begins.
Let me introduce you to something different. just to raise awareness of an organisation I know of that puts great effort into helping woodworkers in the Northeastern region of the USA to get connected with one another. To say that they put on the very best woodworking show in the whole of North America if not the world might be an understatement but in my view they do. There is no hard sell at the show, anywhere! You might want to join up though.
The reason I am doing this now is because it needs planning ahead for. You need time to pull it all together because to take it all in will take you the full two days of the show. The show itself is a sort of jewel of shows but the true jewel in the crown is what takes place behind the scenes in months of planning and preparation—woodworkers serving fellow woodworkers in providing hands-on training, workshop space, scholarships and so on in a spirit of generosity, caring and sharing. The images here are what you will likely find at the show. I took these in 2012, but the standards of the show always improve so I have no hesitation in posting.
You might love the organic shapes of diversely different canoes and boats. Violins finely crafted sit alongside carved eagles and shaker boxes. Mixed in with the crowds of woodworkers looking to expand their horizons and for inspiration you will find the show supported by vendors with hand tools like Lee Valley Veritas or the New York Forest Owners Association who will tell you about their work in forestry and conservation work, folk like that. My last visit was in 2012. I mingled with the crowds and loved it and being on the side of the fence I was I could have spent twice as long there as I did.
The main difference between this show and any other is that the Northeastern Woodworkers Association is exactly that, it’s an association of people who work wood in every which way you want to mention. In 2018 the dates are 24-25 March and you can go to the link for details.
Behind the presentation is the reality of evening and weekend workshops for all people who want to learn how. At the show they offer some masterclasses too, so you can learn while your’e there. Plan on staying two nights overnight. Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area has a wealth of hotels and B & Bs because of the race track in summer. The event is held at the Saratoga Springs convention centre and it is a nice venue.
At the show you’ll find different types of art work with a woodworking theme undergirding everything. The guitars and violins for instance should wow you and of course a close friend, Marty Macica is a highly skilled maker that teaches instrument making as well as makes them.