It’s been a busy few weeks – I recently was in a remote training class for work for a week that was on west coast hours (I’m on the east coast). That was followed by a different than usual work schedule afterward. This is a blog post I’ve been wanted to do for a bit now that involves two recent opportunities to join other woodworkers for two different events.
Visit to Fine Woodworking Magazine
The first of these events was a visit to Fine Woodworking magazine in Newtown, CT with the Modern Woodworkers Association folks – a great reason to take the day off from work and get a long weekend out of the deal. Our hosts were Senior Editor Matt Kenney and Art Director Mike Pekovich, who gave us an overview of how an issue is produced, and afterward a tour of the shop area that included a discussion and demonstration of tips for shop efficiency. I don’t want to simply redo the excellent and detailed posts that Steve Branam, Dyami Plotke, and Nick Roulleau did about our visit – click on each to read their posts, they’re well worth the read. I had a great time and for me, I valued the tour and workshop efficiency tips (while I was doing this before, I am now even more conscious of setting realistic, obtainable objectives for a finite session of shop time). What I also valued though was seeing fellow woodworkers in person. What the MWA is all about is translating online social interactions into in person ones. Folks I had been interacting with in Twitter, Google+, blogs and forums I got to meet in person, as well as some I met for the first time (from both an online an in person perspective). Matt and Mike were gracious and treated us to lunch at the Taunton cafeteria, and it was more good conversation that continued at the lunch table.
Just over a week after the Fine Woodworking visit, it was time for WoodExpo 2012, part of the New England Home Show. I was just as impressed, if not more so, with the projects this year. What really struck me this year was that they had more real estate at the show, and that it was placed in a better location for more people to be exposed to some very fine pieces. It was also quite busy. I went on a Saturday as opposed to a Friday last year, so that may account for it being that much more busy. I did get a chance to briefly chat with Tommy MacDonald and Eli Cleveland, and a bit more with Rob Bois, Mike Morton, Mike McCoy, and Steve Branam (all four exhibited at the expo); as well as Dyami Plotke and Nick Roulleau. I also got to meet Chuck Bender who had a booth setup at the show. My biggest regret is that I could not stay longer. The Boston area Modern Woodworkers Association (MWA) had their kickoff that evening and I was not able to stay for the dinner after the expo. I had hoped to get to talk to Tommy and Eli a bit more as well, but unfortunately when I had to leave, they were just beginning a panel discussion regarding the state of the craft and the relationship with the buyer – I would have loved to stay to hear that discussion.
I hope to be able to plan a bit differently next year, and for other folks perspectives on WoodExpo, encourage folks to also visit Dyami’s post, as well as Nick’s two posts on his site, and on the MWA site.
4 thoughts on “Hangin’ With Woodworkers”
Nice post, Jim. It was a pleasure to hang out with you at both events, rushed as they were. We’ll have to try to block out some MWA time that’s just a member hangout. While these other activities are great, it’ll be great for everone to just sit around a table and talk woodworking.
Thanks Dyami. It was a pleasure as well and I’m looking forward to more MWA hangout times!
Hi Jim –
The FWW trip sounds like a lot of fun. I also went to WoodExpo2012, and really enjoyed the displays. I was not able to spend as much time as I’d have liked (not even close) – the wife and I spent most of the time at the ‘home Show’ part of the convention, and we had to get home to relieve the sitter. Still, it was good to get a little inkling of what’s “out there” in this wonderful craft.