You can also view my gallery at Designs en Bois.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tales from the Wood Expo

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.




7 comments:

Richard said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I am dreaming of the day I have more freedom with my schedule, so that I can attend events such as this one.

Rob Bois said...

The Wood Expo definitely is a significant investment in time, but I think the exposure and networking make it worth the while.

Mark Rhodes said...

That's great, I love seeing furniture from over the pond. I see that most have leaning's toward the traditional, but nice to see the odd contemporary piece.

Rob Bois said...

Mark, there was very much a leaning toward period reproductions. That is somewhat skewed by the North Bennet Street School projects since that program very much revolves around 18th century techniques and styles. But there were a few pieces designed by the crafstman (including my own). The organizers are pushing for more of an emphasis on new design for next year to get more of a mix.

Bruce S said...

Rob, I appreciate your video chronicle of our 2011 WoodExpo. As you said, we are already working on next years event and we really expect to see one of your pieces on display. See you next year Rob.

Ellsworth said...

Was a pleasure seeing you at the show Rob. Was amazing to see your craftsmanship in person, you are truly an extrodianary woodworker. Looking foward to seeing your creation for the 2012 expo and as always thank you for being a inspiration to the rest of us.

Guy

Rob Bois said...

Guy, thanks so much for the complements (if I'm only half deserving of them I'd still be flattered). Was great to see you and Lance too. Sorry I wasn't able to spend more time, but the Expo was keeping me on my toes. Hopefully we will see something from you represented next year!