I'm almost done with my design for the upcoming tool chest project, but I was delayed a week because I participated in the 2011 Wood Expo at the New England Home Show in Boston. While I did exhibit my walnut writing desk and also demonstrated the stringing inlay technique, I also got to meet some really talented craftsman during the event. I think what may have amazed me the most, is that of all the exhibitors, every artisan had a completely different type of furniture, style, or skill set. I think we all learned a lot from each other as well as the extremely talented students from the North Bennet Street School.
But I think the most important thing I learned is that there is still an appreciation for hand crafted furniture in America. The theme of this years show was “connecting the maker and the buyer”, and I have to say we accomplished that goal far beyond my expectations. From Friday afternoon until late Sunday, the Wood Expo was an almost constant buzz of people. In fact, my parents dropped by at one point late Sunday morning, and I barely got a chance to even talk to them I was so busy. I was truly amazed by people's genuine interest in how a particular detail was done, or what material I used an why.
While I don't think I can stop evangelizing the benefits of artisan-made furniture, my hopes and enthusiasm were definitely renewed. The organizers are already working on next year's event, and I suspect it will be an even bigger showing, so I'm already challenging myself to step up my game for 2012. I encourage you to take a look at the video walk-through I recorded to get an idea of some of the great examples of craftsmanship that were on display.